Paris (CNN)A deadly attack on a police bus in the heart of Paris has dramatically changed the course of the French presidential election campaign.
The three main candidates canceled campaign events and instead made televised statements in which they competed to talk tough on security and vowed a crackdown on ISIS.
One police officer died after a gunman wielding a machine gun leapt out of a car and opened fire on the Champs-Elysees, Paris’s most famous boulevard, as candidates were engaging in their final TV debate.
Gunman opens fire on police in Paris 00:45
The far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, demanded the closure of all Islamist mosques. Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve accused her of trying to capitalize on the attack.
ISIS swiftly claimed the attack was carried out by one of its “fighters.” The assailant — Karim Cheurfi, a 39-year-old French national with a long and violent criminal record — was shot dead as he tried to make his escape. Prosecutors said a note defending ISIS fell out of his pocket, although there was no previous evidence of radicalization. He was also carrying the addresses of police stations.
French authorities, including the domestic security service, began a counterterrorism investigation into Cheurfi last month after learning of his increasing determination to establish communication with an ISIS fighter in Syria and Iraq, a source close to the investigation told CNN Friday.
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