UPDATE: Driver in France’s Bastille Day Attack Has Been Identified
As news broke that pedestrians leaving a Bastille Day celebration of fireworks and live music had been mowed down in the French city of Nice, could any rational person claim that they didn’t think, “Oh no, not again?”
And along with the sense of despair and resignation that have replace the shock we once experienced when hearing of terror attacks, any honest person would have to admit they believed that when the inevitable press conference was held, a grief-stricken police chief would announce an Arabic name as the perpetrator of the horror.
So it was in Nice, France as authorities identified 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a native of Tunisia, as the driver of the 20-ton truck that he wielded like a weapon as he drove for a mile down the postcard perfect Promenade des Anglais deliberately swerving to hit the terrified families as they tried to get out of his way.
Bouhlel killed 84 and left more than 200 injured, including at least 52 listed in critical condition and another 25 who were on life support 24 hours after the attack, before he was shot dead by French police.
Ten children were killed and another 28 were hospitalized with injuries.
Authorities were able to identify Bouhlel by fingerprints and his Identification Card was found in the truck, leading them to his apartment in Nice.
Although some witnesses reported that Bouhlel yelled, “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “Allah is greater”) the traditional Muslim dedication offered at the time of an attack to achieve martyrdom, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the investigation had not found evidence that Bouhlel was involved with jihadism.
The killer had a criminal record for violent behavior, including an incidence of road rage for which he was given a six-month suspended sentence in March.
ISIS has not taken credit for the attack, but an article in its slick magazine, Inspire, has run articles urging wannabe-martyrs to use vehicles as weapons in the exact manner Bouhlel did on a beautiful night when France celebrated its national day of independence and “liberté, equalité, fraternité.”