London: Truck terrorist, identifies as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, was an 'unlikely jihadist' who flouted every rule of Islam, his cousin told MailOnline today.
The 31-year-old - who wreaked terror on the Nice seafront as he turned an evening celebrating Bastille Day into a night of terror in which he murdered 84 innocent people - drank alcohol, ate pork and took drugs, MailOnline said in its exclusive report.
"He never prayed or attended a mosque, and hit his wife - with whom he had three children aged five, three and 18 months - and was in the process of getting a divorce", the report said.
Bouhlel, who had been known to the French police since January, had been on the radar for six months for petty criminality.
It is understood he lost his job as a delivery driver when he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into four cars and had also been involved in a bar brawl.
Walid Hamou, a cousin of Bouhlel's wife Hajer Khalfallah , told MailOnline: "Bouhlel was not religious. He did not go to the mosque, he did not pray, he did not observe Ramadan.
"He drank alcohol, ate pork and took drugs. This is all forbidden under Islam.
"He was not a Muslim, he was a s***. He beat his wife, my cousin, he was a nasty piece of work", Walid said.
Some other reports claimed that many Arabs and Muslims were also targeted in truck attack in the French city of Nice on Thursday evening'
An Iranian journalist Maryam Violette who was present on the ground said she saw bodies on the ground with either the Muslim head covering hijab or some clothing of Arabic nature, according to Al Arabiya.
Many on the social media are taking her statements as evidence that the truck driver, a French citizen of Tunisian ancestry, was indiscriminate as he ploughed through the Bastille Day crowd near the French Riviera.
“There were so many Muslim people who were victims because I could see they had scarves over their head and some were speaking Arabic, one family lost a mother and in Arabic, they were saying she’s a martyr,” Violette, who works for the ZananTV, told the Guardian.
At least 84 peoples were killed and many others injured as a truck rammed into crowd in Nice, southern France, local TV channels reported early on Friday, citing the prosecutor of Nice.
At 22:30 Thursday night local time, a truck drove at high speed into the crowd who gathered on the promenade to watch fireworks marking July 14, the French national day, wrote Christian Estrosi, president of the region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, on Twitter.
Few Arab sources Al Arabiya English spoke to in Nice over the phone described the absence of police and emergency personnel during the first 30 minutes of the attack. Syrian graduate student Zehni Khairullah told Al Arabiya English of the immense fear Arab tourists and students felt who were near the attack.
“What I experienced in Nice last night will never leave my memory. People running around and screaming while I was a kilometer away from the location of the attack,” Khairullah said.
“Walking back to the residence was not an as easy. Every car, motorcycle or person we saw, we stopped, counted to 10 in fear that this person might shoot us,” he recounted.