Why ISIS (as well as Putin) may be supporting Le Pen

April 21, 2017 at 5:10 pm (elections, Europe, fascism, France, islamism, Jim D, nationalism, populism)

Russian President Putin shakes hands with French far-right party leader Le Pen during their meeting in Moscow
Photo: Sputnik/Reuters

Putin’s de facto support (including financial support) for Le Pen is well known, and all of a piece with his pro-Trump interference in the US election and his backing of the Brexit cause.

It has now been plausibly suggested that Le Pen may also be the unwitting recipient of the conscious and deliberate support of ISIS.

An unsubstantiated piece of pure speculation? Maybe, but I found this report from a serious and well-informed source, at the very least, worth taking seriously. This is no wild conspiracy theory:

How The Champs-Élysées Attack Affects The French Presidential Election

Why Islamists Might Want Le Pen In Power

By M.G. Oprea

There’s good reason to believe ISIS was involved in planning, not just inspiring, Thursday’s attack, considering the swiftness with which it claimed responsibility, and the fact that the terror group knew the attacker’s name. But given Le Pen’s strong rhetoric against ISIS and Islam in France, why would the Islamic State plan two attacks in one week, knowing full well that it would benefit Le Pen alone among the candidates?

One possibility, as elaborate as it may sound, is that if Islamists want to keep French Muslims from integrating into French society and encourage them to resist through violence, it would be in their best interest to have Le Pen in power. A Le Pen presidency would give the Islamic State the narrative they need to radicalize a very susceptible French Muslim community.

As we know, ISIS is incredibly media-savvy. It strains credulity that two attacks were planned for the week before the election with just enough time for the media to really dig into them but not enough time for them to fade from voters’ memories. The timing doesn’t seem like coincidence.

It’s hard not to think that the men arrested in Marseilles, or whoever helped them plan, knew full well the result a terror attack could produce in Sunday’s elections. When police prevented the well-planned plot, the terror cell, with or without direction from ISIS, went to Plan B—a man with a machine gun on the Champs-Élysées.

Regardless of how Thursday’s attack came to pass, it will almost certainly help Le Pen in Sunday’s election. But it will hurt future prospects of quelling the tensions between France and its Muslim community, or of stifling Islamist influence in those communities—something that was never going to be easy in the first place.

M.G. Oprea is editor of the foreign policy newsletter INBOUND. She holds a PhD in French linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. You can follow her on Twitter here.


  1. Mick said,

    Are Muslims really that easily triggered, socially incompatible and culturally illiberal and violent that all it takes to set them off is putting le Pen in charge? I don’t think so but many do.

    Surprisingly, leftists seem to think the same thing, about anywhere. I’ve heard plenty of talk about ‘uprisings’ instead of riots, ‘resistance’ instead of psychotic violence, or ‘letting off steam’ instead of deranged hate speech. Indeed, leftists right up to Obama use terms like ‘workplace violence’ instead of describing Sharia-fuelled terror attacks on even military bases.

    The left accidentally tell us that if you are born of a culture allowing FGM or crushed human rights or death for apostasy, then you may not be able to control yourself properly in a nation with way fewer iron controls on your daily life. Younger Muslims who grew up with freedom may or may not agree but we’ll leave some discussion for the Left.

    • Jim Denham said,

      I honestly don’t understand your point, Mick.

      The point of the main article is that it clearly suits ISIS’s purposes to have a semi-fascist racist like Le Pen in power: do you agree?

      • Mick said,

        My point was that if people are afraid of an ISIS-backed leader causing Muslims to melt down across France, they misjudge human nature.

        There have been riots and terror fears enough to prompt lockdown from authorities. But even here, most Muslims haven’t seemed to be any kind of problem.

        ISIS would love the idea of any kind of trouble. So when the MOAB gets dropped, I hope they enjoy the irony.

      • Jim Denham said,

        Am I thick or what? I still haven’t the faintest idea of what point you’re trying to make, Mick.

      • Mick said,

        The theory doesn’t fly, that’s one explanation even simpler.

  2. ROBERT R. CALDER said,

    Madam Penis, Miss La Peine has blond ambitions to become une reine and join the little cannible creche — or was it Cannibal? — weak is flesh and in many cases so is brain…. (could be tempted to compose sequel!) Roberto

    From: Shiraz Socialist To: serapion@btinternet.com Sent: Friday, 21 April 2017, 18:11 Subject: [New post] Why ISIS (as well as Putin) may be supporting Le Pen #yiv3427219061 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3427219061 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3427219061 a.yiv3427219061primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3427219061 a.yiv3427219061primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3427219061 a.yiv3427219061primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3427219061 a.yiv3427219061primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3427219061 WordPress.com | charliethechulo posted: “Photo: Sputnik/ReutersPutin’s de facto support (including financial support) for Le Pen is well known, and all of a piece with his pro-Trump interference in the US election and his backing of the Brexit cause.It has now been plausibly suggested th” | |

    • Mick said,

      Now THIS is incoherent.

    • Mick said,

      Yes ! I just KNEW we were one big happy family!

  3. Glasgow Working Class said,

    Le Pen will throw out Islamic Fascists and will call a referendum on the EU. The gravy train establishment are clearly shiting themselves. The politicians who allowed islamists into Europe knowing they were killers must be held to account. The atrocities in the EU are down to inept liberal and left political idiots.

    • Mick said,

      Conspiracy theories about ISIS remote-controlling the Muslims aside, the ignored danger of the hardcore Islamists is one thing the EU can never live down.

      Obsessions about Blair-style immigration explosions to rub the Right’s nose in diversity made a whole alienation situation way worse.

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