In the aftermath of the foiled terror plot against French presidential candidates, the anti-mass migration Front National (FN) have claimed Marine Le Pen may have been a target.In reaction to the foiled attacks, Republican François Fillon and Socialist Benoit Hamon have said they hope people will not be deterred from voting. The anti-mass migration Front National has claimed that their candidate, Marine Le Pen, was likely a target, L’Express reports.
A source from Le Pen’s entourage told the paper: “The fact that the two individuals were arrested in Marseille while Marine Le Pen is holding a meeting the next day is perhaps not a coincidence.” A security source within the FN noted the Union of Islamic Organisations of France (UOIF) had singled out Le Pen as the “candidate to beat”.
Ms. Le Pen commented on the terror plot saying: “In the last 10 years, Islamist fundamentalism has developed exponentially in France without any response being made… This results in a devastating multiplication of attacks and threats of attacks. It is now the presidential campaign that is aimed at and through it, our democracy.”
So far, police have not named the specific targets of the foiled attack, but have arrested two suspects: 29-year-old Mahiedine Merabet and 23-year-old Clément Baur. Police say initially, only Mr. Merabet was under investigation for plotting an attack and Baur was found to be connected several days into the investigation.
According to authorities, a videotape was found showing one of the men declaring his loyalty to an Islamic extremist group and intercepted it before it could be mailed to the media.
Both men are said to have been born in France and lived most of their lives in the north of the country. Baur is said to have visited the south, where the attack was planned to take place, several times. The pair were known to police previously as small time criminals and it is thought they likely converted to Islamic radicalism whilst in prison.
Searches carried out in the residences of the two men found a large cache of firearms and explosives police have said.
Last year, Breitbart News reported that some 60 per cent of prisoners in France are Muslims and that the prisons have become a breeding ground for Islamic State recruitment.