MSNBC Host: What if Nice Killer Was Just Mentally Ill and ‘Took a Moment to Challenge Society in a Horrific Way?’

July 15, 2016

MSNBC host Thomas Roberts wondered Friday whether the killer of more than 80 people in Nice, France, was just a mentally ill person who "took a moment to challenge society in a horrific way."

"But what if this is a one-off, Malcolm?" Roberts asked terrorism analyst Malcolm Nance. "If we get out of the analytics of potential terrorism and think about this, what if this is just a person with mental illness that took a moment to challenge society in a horrific way, and we’re not talking about that?"

"We’ve seen that," Nance said. "We call them EDPs. Extremely disturbed persons, or emotionally disturbed persons. We had a case in France last year where a man beheaded his supervisor, you know, put his head on a stake and claimed that he did it in some form of radical jihadism."

"However, that is also a facet of the recruitment process that groups like ISIS and al Qaeda do," Nance continued. "They don’t care if you’re emotionally disturbed. If you’re willing to carry out an act, they will even take claim for that act even if you had no political component as part of that, which is in fact terror, to terrorize the rest of the world on the basis of your attack."

The Nice killer was identified as Mohamed Bouhlel, 31, a French national of Tunisian descent. He used a large truck to mow down Bastille Day revelers Thursday night, killing 84 people, including 10 children. He was later killed by law enforcement.