[Adan] seemed like a model of assimilation, not a violent jihadist, people who knew him and his family said. The son of Somali refugees, he lived in the United States most of his life, did well in school, played sports, worked as a security guard and took classes at a local college.
He was a normal American kid. I can’t see anyone more assimilated than that guy.
He was such a sweet humble guy, and that’s still how I see him.
He gave me free chicken. He was always the most friendly man you ever met.
[H]is other known obsession was souped-up Honda Civics that he liked to race … Neighbors described him as a friendly car enthusiast and were surprised by the arrest … He used to wear Western-style clothing, and customers said he gave little indication of his heritage.
In recent years, though, some friends noticed a marked change in his personality and religious devotion after what they believed was a trip to Afghanistan, where he and his relatives are from.
There is the likely key as to why both he and Dahir Adan, mild-mannered, friendly guys, embarked on the path to jihad: they were trying to make up for previous activity regarded as sinful in an Islamic context.
Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).
I do not find such a deed. (Bukhari 4.52.44)
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.