French judge steps up Le Pen investigation over Islamic State tweets

Front National name change 'political suicide', says founder

French prosecutors have filed preliminary charges against far-right leader Marine Le Pen for tweeting brutal images of Daesh terror group's violence.

"Daesh is this!" Le Pen wrote in a caption, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS, in response to a TV journalist drawing a comparison between the extremists and the French far-right.

Le Pen, who lost the 2016 presidential election to Emmanuel Macron, posted the three images to Twitter several weeks after IS terrorists killed 130 people in Paris in November 2015. Le Pen faces up to three years in prison and 75,000 euros ($90,000) in fines if the case goes to trial and she is convicted.

This article has been adapted from its original source. She posted them in the wake of the Nov 2015 IS attacks on Paris, as she accused the government of not doing enough to protect France.

As reported by AFP, she is facing charges of circulating "violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity".


They included an image of the body of American journalist James Foley, who was decapitated in a widely circulated video by a member of ISIL.

Le Pen later deleted the picture of Foley after a request from his family, saying she had been unaware of his identity.

Along with other right-wing, nationalist movements throughout Europe, the National Front has enjoyed a resurgence amid increasing dissatisfaction with the European Union's immigration policies.

Running unopposed for a third term as leader, Le Pen will propose a new name at a party conference in Lille next week - culminating a seven-year campaign to cleanse the party of its past association with overt racism and anti-Semitism.

Manuel Valls, France's Prime Minister at the time, described the photos as "monstrous", adding that Ms Le Pen had shown "political and moral failing" and her "non-respect for victims". "In other countries this would have earned me a medal".

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