The murder of Franz Ferdinand started World War 1 over a century ago. Will a new act of terrorism in the coming days before the May 7th election lead to the breakup of the EU?
It is generally expected that Marine Le Pen (anti-EU candidate for French President) will lose the runoff election for French President. However terrorism and fear in France is the wildcard that could cause her to win. If Le Pen wins she will likely pull France from the EU.
On April 22, there was a fatal shooting of a policeman on France’s symbolic main avenue, the Champs-Elysées in Paris, has brought an abrupt early end to the campaign. The gunman, who opened fire on a police van with an automatic weapon, was shot by the police as he fled. French news reports named him as Karim Cheurfi, a 39-year-old French citizen with a history of violent crime and imprisonment, who was known to French counter-terrorism services. Investigators are treating the attack as terrorism. Most candidates, in response, cancelled their final rallies and campaign events.
This week, just two days before this latest attack, the police arrested two men in Marseilles on suspicion of planning an attack linked to the election. They uncovered jihadist propaganda, as well as a haul of weapons and explosives, in a flat in the city rented by the pair, Clement Baur and Mahiedine Merabet. The suspects had plans for an “imminent and violent attack”, said Matthias Fekl, the interior minister. Security services warned three candidates in particular—Mr Fillon, Mr Macron and Marine Le Pen of the far right—that they were potential targets.
More than 230 people have been killed in terrorist attacks in France since January 2015. The country has been under a state of emergency since November 2015. The army regularly patrols streets and transport hubs under “Opération Sentinelle”. President François Hollande’s Socialist government has renewed these special powers five times, to cover events such as a European soccer tournament last summer and the elections this spring.