Just days before France's hotly contested elections, the country was rocked by yet another high profile and tragic terror attack, this time right on the famous Champs-Élysées.
A lone gunman, armed with an assault rifle, opened fire on bystanders and police officers, killing one and wounding numerous others. He was gunned down while trying to flee on foot.
The shooter, 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi, also known as Abu Yusuf al-Baljiki, was known by French authorities and had recently been let out of jail after serving nearly 20 years for trying to kill police officers in 2001.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
With the major election looming over the French people, multiple candidates spoke out against the attack. National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, even suspended her campaign for the day, out of respect for the victim.
Another candidate who has been leading in the polls along with Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron, was quoted by the New York Times saying that these type of attacks will seemingly become normal in the future:
“This imponderable threat, this threat, will be a fact of daily life in the coming years.”
Macron, considered a moderate candidate, also said that candidates should not exploit the attack for political gain:
“I think we must one and all have a spirit of responsibility at this extreme time and not give in to panic and not allow it to be exploited, which some might try to do.”
According to the same article, Le Pen had a much different response. The populist candidate doubled down on her immigration policies, saying that France needs to take back control of its borders from the European Union.
“Emotion and solidarity for our forces of order, once again targets.”
The attack came just days after French authorities managed to stop a potentially large and catastrophic terrorist plot in the southern city of Marseille. Two suspects were arrested after police found weapons, ammunition, and explosives in their apartment.
Since January 2015, 235 people have been killed by terror attacks in France.