Paris shooting: Marine Le Pen launches tirade against Islam after terror attack

Jessica Morgan
Marine Le Pen: French National Front political party leader: AP

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen launched a tirade against Islam after the latest terror attack in Paris.

Suspected Isis supporter Karim Cheurfi, a French national, opened fire with a Kalashnikov on the Champs Elysees, killing a police officer and injuring

The gunman, who had served 15 years in prison for three attempted murders before being released in 2015, had been under preliminary investigation for terrorism and was detained two months ago but “let go” due to insufficient evidence.

Reacting to the atrocities, Le Pen called for the Socialist government to “immediately” tighten borders and deport all foreigners on a terror watch list.

“Islamism is a monstrous totalitarian ideology that has declared war on our nation, on reason, on civilisation,” the Front National leader said in Paris.

Blocked: The Champs Elysee Avenue is protected during ongoing police investigation (AP)

“Hate preachers must be expelled, the Islamist mosques closed.”

She criticised outgoing Socialist President Francois Hollande as “notoriously feeble” and said France was “worn out by inaction”.

The shooting came just three days before the first round of France’s presidential election and there has been much speculation that increased security fears could drive voters either to far-right leader Ms Le Pen or centre-right candidate Francois Fillon.

French police stand guard on Champs Elysees Avenue (AP)

In a scathing attack on Le Pen, French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said: "The Front National candidate, just like every attack seeks to divide and manipulate. She is shameless trying to exploit fear and emotion to exclusively political ends".

According to the latest opinion polls, Le Pen goes head to head with opponent and centrist frontrunner Emmanuel Macron, with both expected to make it to the second run-off vote two weeks later.