Campaign HQ of France presidential hopeful Le Pen targeted by arson attempt
A building housing the campaign headquarters of French presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen in Paris has been targeted by an arson attempt. Those who reportedly took responsibility or the incident vowed to continue such acts “every day until the elections.”
The incident took place overnight Wednesday. Firefighters were called at about 2:40am (00:40 GMT).
A fire service spokesman told AFP that the fire was “quickly brought under control,” damaging only the door and a doormat.
Le QG de campagne de M. Le Pen visé par une tentative d'incendie. Revendication d'un groupe contre la xénophobie https://t.co/keqRAOShGj— SKOЯN (@MasHerrBrice) April 13, 2017
The ground floor of the building was targeted and the message “FN VS KLX” was written on the wall, a police source told AFP. The cause of the fire was “not natural and probably criminal,” the source added.
"Les groupuscules d'extrême-gauche agissent en toute impunité. Le gouvernement les laisse faire, je demande leur dissolution !" #Les4Vérités— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) April 13, 2017
Le Pen denounced the incident on Twitter, pointing the finger at leftist groups.
“The extreme left-wing groups are acting with impunity, the government is letting them go, and I demand their dissolution!” she wrote. However, Le Pen gave no details as to why she thinks that these particular groups are responsible.
Later Le Pen confirmed to RT that the attack was committed by “extreme left groups.”
“They are responsible for aggression against police which we regularly see on TV and [violence] at the end of each protest,” she said.
PARIS: Le QG de campagne de Marine Le Pen visé cette nuit par une tentative d’incendie, "ça va continuer tous les jours jusqu'aux élections" pic.twitter.com/ScPIJVxr8C— Infos Françaises (@InfosFrancaises) April 13, 2017
Interior Minister Matthias Fekl slammed the attack, calling them “unacceptable” and said that “democratic debate must take place in the ballot box.”
“We have been in touch with the National Front candidate's team since last night and will see with them if it is necessary to strengthen security procedures,” Fekl told RTL radio.
In the meantime, a representative of the group which calls itself Fight Xenophobia (French ‘Combattre la xénophobie,‘ possible abbreviation of ‘KLX’) contacted AFP and claimed responsibility for the attack.
The arson attack, carried out using Molotov cocktails, was apparently in memory of a man named Loïc “beaten by FN [National Front] militants 10 years ago,” the representative said, adding that “it will continue every day until the elections.”
The man said a similar attack had been carried out against the headquarters of the far-right Présent newspaper. However, a police source told AFP that there were “no attempts” to firebomb the paper.
Earlier in April Le Pen’s camp was outraged after a French rock band released a song dubbed “La Marine” where they call the presidential hopeful “a daughter of a “wh*re”.
“My fist will remember the taste of your teeth”, “If she wants to end up in the urn” and “She must be burned like Joan of Arc” are some of the lines in the song, available on YouTube.
FN secretary-general Nicolas Bay called the song “a call to murder.”
"La cramer comme Jeanne D'Arc sur le bûcher." Les bonnes consciences vont-elles s'indigner de cet appel au meurtre ?https://t.co/Jwg46LRoT9— Nicolas Bay (@nicolasbayfn) April 10, 2017
FN regional council for 'Île-de-France region Aurélien Legrand added a screenshot from the video, saying “if you're wondering what hate and violence is, that's it.”
Si vous vous demandez ce que c'est que la haine et la violence, c'est ça... et bien entendu c'est de gauche. https://t.co/uAw5Z1vUNQ— Aurélien Legrand (@Au_Legrand) April 10, 2017
Florian Philippot , vice-president of the National Front, called upon “patriots and all French people attached to democracy” to “react to this abomination.”
Les patriotes et tous les Français attachés à la democratie doivent réagir devant cette abomination !https://t.co/DhCIkTTW32— Florian Philippot (@f_philippot) April 10, 2017
The first round of presidential elections will take place April 23 with Le Pen facing Socialist Benoît Hamon, Republican François Fillon and independents Emmanuel Macron and Jean-Luc Mélenchon . According to Opinionway poll, Le Pen may make it through the first round, but is tipped lose the May 7 run-off.