Le Pen demands closure of all Islamist mosques in France

That's largely because opinion polls suggest that the electorate was still divided nearly evenly between four leading candidates ahead of Sunday's first round vote, with a large number of undecided voters who could break for the anti-Muslim candidate of the far-right, Marine Le Pen, if fear of terrorism spikes.

"The perpetrator was flagged for radicalization". The attack took place on the famed Champs Élysées, where one police officer was killed and two others were wounded.

The Champs Elysees shooting is the latest in a series of attacks by Islamist militants on France in recent years in which more than 200 people have been killed. The alleged shooter was identified on ISIS-affiliated social media accounts as Abu Sayif al-Baljiki, 39, from Belgium, Le Figaro reported Friday.

Hardline statements from Le Pen and Fillon spoke of a country "at war" with radical Islam, which they described as organised, expansionist, totalitarian and barbaric.

"Another terrorist attack in Paris".

But, even before the latest terror attack in the country earlier this week, the race to be the next leader of France was one with implications not only for the USA but for the rest of the world.

Macron, from the centrist party En Marche!, even posted a video of himself speaking with Obama whom he said stressed the importance of the relationship between the USA and France, according to a Reuters report.

A simple runoff election might not sound like a big deal, but the reality is the election has global ramifications, including the possibility of a stock market crash coming. Will have a big effect on presidential election!

"I'll let the voters of France decide this Sunday what direction they want their country to go in", he said.

Meanwhile, French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Friday accused Le Pen of seeking to use the attack for political gain.

Surveys show a tight race between Le Pen and Macron, with Fillon and Mélenchon not far behind. The two highest polling candidates will enter a runoff in May should no one take a clear majority.

"I think this election is sufficiently unstable that it could still move things", Jeanbart said.

Ms Le Pen, leader of the National Front (FN), called for France's border controls to be reinstated immediately, and for foreigners on security watch lists to be expelled.

Mrs Le Pen has not yet met Mr Trump and while he stopped short of giving her a full endorsement he said he thought she was the "strongest" candidate. In an interview, Le Pen called for a return to "real economies, not Wall Street economies, but rather factories and farmers".

As the French election approaches, political observers see it as a test of just how far the conservative movement can reach across Europe.

  • Leroy Wright