The Islamic State (Isis) group has claimed responsibility for the attack in Nice that claimed the lives of around 84 people and injured 202 others, SITE Intelligence Group reported, citing Amaq news agency. The terrorist group has said that it inspired the attacker to carry out the attack.
The attacker who drove the truck through a crowd at the Promenade des Anglais in the French Riviera city of Nice has been identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Tunisian whom the police considered a petty criminal with a history of theft, violent conduct and vandalism.
Thirty one-year-old Bouhlel, who was sent to three months of probation in March for a road rage crime when he threw a wooden pallet at a motorist, was never on the watchlist for suspected militants. The police recovered ammunition like a loaded handgun, three replica weapons and an empty grenade from the truck. Two automatic several fake weapons, a mobile phone along with some documents were also found, French prosecutor Francois Molins was quoted by the Guardian as saying.
The prosecutor added that the investigation would "try to determine whether he benefited from accomplices... It will also try to find out whether Mohamed Laouaiej Bouhlel had ties to Islamist terrorist organizations... Although yesterday's attack has not been claimed, this sort of thing fits in perfectly with calls for murder from such terrorist organizations."
He was a resident of Nice, married to a Tunisian with dual nationality, Mohamed Ali Chihi, Tunisia's ambassador to France, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying. Bouhlel hailed from the Tunisian town of Msaken and had three children. His ex-wife has been taken into police custody for questioning. The police are also investigating whether the attacker had accomplices or was a lone wolf.
Four others have also been arrested, AFP said in a tweet.
"Yes, it is a terrorist act and we shall see what links there are with terrorist organizations," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, adding that Bouhlel was "one way or another" linked to radical Islam.
Bouhlel ploughed a truck for almost two kilometre along the promenade where huge crowd had gathered to celebrate Bastille Day, the national day of France, before being shot dead by the police.
His father said that Bouhlel, who was "always alone", was under depression and took medication to control fits of anger, the AP reported, citing France's BFM TV.
The French government called for its operational reserve of 25,000 security forces, consisting of ex-military or former gendarmes, to strengthen border security and to determine why a petty criminal would go to the extent of committing such a horrific crime.
French President Francoise Hollande, who is now facing backlash over the country's security services, travelled to Nice to visit the injured who have been admitted in Pasteur hospital. He also declared three days of national mourning beginning Saturday.
Eighty four people, including 10 children, died in the Thursday attack while 202 people were injured, of which 52 are in critical care and 25 are on life support. The condition of three to four children is extremely critical.
The deceased include immigrants and tourists from nations like Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Switzerland and the United States.
No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.