Le Pen Calls for Surveillance of Mosques Following Gas Plant Attack

Marine Le Pen statement after attack
Marine Le Pen has called on authorities to expel foreign citizens suspected of fundamentalism Charles Platiau/REUTERS

Marine Le Pen, leader of France's nationalist Front National party, has called on authorities to expel all foreign citizens suspected of fundamentalism and to begin monitoring prayers and gatherings at all mosques, after a man was beheaded in south east France today.

The attack took place this morning in France's Isère region, near the city Grenoble. One man was found beheaded with Arab writing on his forehead in an Air Products gas plant near the commune of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier. Two individuals are suspected of carrying out the attack and have both been apprehended, according to the Interior Ministry.

Now Le Pen has issued a dramatic statement in response to the attack, criticising the government for having done "nothing for years to counter Islamist fundamentalism".

"The marches, slogans and emotional rhetoric must finally give way to action," Le Pen said referring to the so called 'Republican March' which gripped Paris after the three Islamist attacks on the French capital in January, including the shootings at the offices of satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine.

"The list of foreigners suspected of Islamist fundamentalism should be immediately expelled from the nation's territory," Le Pen said. "Dual nationals should follow the same fate after being stripped of their French citizenship."

One of the suspects behind today's attack had previously been monitored by the French internal intelligence service DGSI, interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed, naming him as Yassin Sahli.

Le Pen also suggested that "preaching gatherings in mosques should come under surveillance as of today" and added that projects to build new mosques should be put on hold to ward off "dubious foreign financing."

French magazine Paris Match has already dubbed Le Pen's statement "opportunistic" and criticised it for condoning the deportation of non-convicted foreign nationals and for targeting Islam directly as a cause of radicalism.