The French police have named Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel as the suspect in the attack in Nice, France, on Thursday night, Le Monde reports.
The attacker shot at a crowd of Bastille Day revelers from a truck and accelerated the vehicle into them, leaving at least 84 people dead and hundreds more injured.
Al Jazeera News on Friday afternoon released a purported photo of the alleged attacker:
And Middle East Eye published a picture of Bouhlel’s passport, which was left at the scene:
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) July 15, 2016
Police officers shot the attacker dead. Authorities later found the identity papers in the truck.
The Nice-Matin newspaper reported that people close to Bouhlel were being questioned by the police.
Bouhlel was born in 1985 and was of Tunisian origin, from the town of Msaken, The Telegraph reports, citing Tunisian security sources.
Bouhlel’s neighbours described him as a solitary and quiet person in interviews with AFP. Most people in his apartment building said they never talked to him. The newspaper reported that Bouhlel was a father of three who had become depressed since a divorce, citing neighbours who said he also had financial problems.
His ex-wife has been taken into custody according to Nice-Matin.
Neighbours described him as “depressed and unstable, even aggressive,” according to The Telegraph, but they assumed it was because of his personal problems, as they said he was
“more into women than religion.”
“He was rude and bit weird,” a woman who lived in the building told the paper, adding that he would talk about his wife at the local cafe. “He was very smart with the same haircut as George Clooney.”
Another neighbour had been suspicious of Bouhlel, Nice-Matin reported, describing him as a “handsome man who looked too much at my two daughters.”
Bouhlel lived in Nice and was known by the police for criminal offences including assault with a weapon, domestic violence, threats, and robbery, according to The Telegraph. But Nice-Matin reported that he was not under the surveillance of French authorities and was not listed as a person who could pose a threat.
His home was searched by the police on Friday morning. The attacker used a 7.65 mm pistol to shoot at the police and the crowd, and the refrigerated truck he drove into the crowd was filled with explosives. Bouhlel had rented the truck two days before the attack, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but French President Francois Hollande described it as an act of terror.
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