July 14 attack in Nice: the journey of a psychopath who became a terrorist

On September 5, 2011, a police patrol called to settle a “violent family dispute” stops in front of a block of buildings in the Ray district, in Nice. A 26-year-old Franco-Tunisian mother, Hajer K., has just telephoned in tears from her daughter’s room in which she locked herself to escape her husband’s fury. Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who is also her first cousin, punched her and dragged her to the ground by her hair because she had not cleaned.

After five years of abuse, the young woman resolved to file a complaint against her husband who “hit every day” since their marriage, she said. Penal mediation is organized before the public prosecutor of Nice: the violent husband leaves with a simple reminder of the law. He engages himself in “stop the insults and blows”Hajer K. promising in return to “to make efforts at home so that he finds the woman he loved before”.

At the marital home, the ordeal of Hajer K. continues however. Three years later, in 2014, she filed a second complaint for “almost daily threats and violence”, including during pregnancy. This time her husband urinated on her and defecated in their room. He also threatened her with death and stabbed her ” in the heart “ their daughter’s stuffed animal, shouting: “Do you think I’m going to stop there?” » “He scares me very muchshe confided to the police. My children and I are not safe with him. » Summoned several times to the police station, the dangerous husband no longer gives any sign of life.

river of blood

It was not until two years later, on June 20, 2016, that Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was heard for the first time in the context of this second complaint by his wife, who had in the meantime filed for divorce and lived alone with their three children. He denies the facts. The procedure will not have time to complete. In the weeks that followed, the 31-year-old Tunisian delivery driver began to consult content on the Internet relating to Islam, jihadist terrorism, the rental of heavy goods vehicles and road accidents. In his computer, the investigators will exhume this research: “terrible fatal accident”.

Three weeks after his hearing, on July 14, 2016, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel rushed aboard a rental truck on the Promenade des Anglais, shredding the families gathered for the fireworks under its wheels, and deliberately hit a group of children enjoying themselves in front of a candy stall. The Promenade des Anglais is a river of blood. The human toll of the attack is terrifying: 86 dead, including 15 minors, and more than 300 injured. After having sown death for four minutes and seventeen seconds, the violent husband-turned-terrorist is shot dead at the wheel of his 19-ton by police. Two days later, the Islamic State (IS) organization claimed responsibility for the attack on the man it described as “Soldier of the Caliphate”.

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July 14 attack in Nice: the journey of a psychopath who became a terrorist