Nice Attacker: Body-Building Delinquent Who Became Suddenly Radicalised

(AFP) – Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was a petty criminal with a penchant for boozing, bodybuilding and trying to pick up women who showed no signs of radicalisation until recently, according to neighbours and family. The 31-year-old Tunisian father of three, who smashed a 19-tonne lorry into a crowd of Bastille Day revellers killing 84 people, was known to the police for a series of fracas but never made it onto the radar of intelligence services. The Islamic State group, in claiming the attack Saturday, said he was a “soldier” who had responded to “calls to target nations of coalition states that are fighting (IS)”. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the picture emerging during questioning of scores of friends and relatives was of someone who “seemed to have been radicalised very quickly”. A police source told AFP that the information gleaned from acquaintances pointed to “a recent conversion to radical Islam” but that there had been no mention yet of any affiliation to IS. Lahouaiej-Bouhlel arrived in France from the northeastern Tunisian town of Msaken in 2005. He gained residency a year later, married a local woman of Tunisian origin, with whom he had his children, and went to work as a