National Front candidate Marine Le Pen urged the French government to restore France's borders immediately following the shooting of police officers earlier which the Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for. Le Pen favors France to exit the European passport-free Schengen area.
Le Pen sent a statement from her campaign headquarters in Paris where she urged the government and judicial authorities to handle the case of all persons on the French territory who are known for "their adhesion to the enemy's ideology." She wants foreigners who are Islamic radicals to be thrown out of France and for French nationals identified with the same crime to face trial.
Earlier, Le Pen also called for " a clear head and a firm grip" following the Champs-Elysees gun attack that inescapably put the focus back on one of the main themes of her election campaign: France's fight against Islamic extremism.
Le Pen said on RFI radio that it is time to stop being naive. Le Pen has always anchored her presidential bid on strong anti-immigration views and a tough security stance. As voters go to the first round of the polls on Sunday, one of the key questions is whether the Thursday attack that killed police officers and wounded two others could further boost votes for Le Pen's program of stepped-up security and border controls. The National Front leader is also calling for more resources for the police and tougher treatment of radicals listed in the government's database of people regarded as possible threats to national security.
French officials said the gunman who shot and killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysees was already detained for threatening the police in February. He was later released then for lack of evidence. He was also previously convicted in 2003 of attempted homicide in shootings of two police officers. The police who responded to the attack shot and killed the gunman after he opened fire on a police van along the most famous boulevard of scenic Paris. The terrorist Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack.
Latest polls indicate Le Pen would be among the top two candidates that could advance to the May 7 runoff.