Just days before France heads to the polls in the first-round of a fiercely contested presidential election, the attack has many pundits speculating as to whether it will give the far-right a final boost ahead of the vote.
Immediately after the attack, Le Pen reiterated her calls for border controls and a crackdown on radical Islam.
The two police officers injured in the attack are out of danger, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.
"People often say I'm the one putting Europe at risk, that I want to leave". Polls position him in first place but closely followed by his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen.
Until now, Le Pen had struggled to get the campaign to focus on her party's trademark tough security and immigration stance. However, there can be no doubt that this attack will further the divide between those voters who are at some level tolerant of the rising population and influence of Muslims in France, and those who support Le Pen, who has held firm on her anti-Sharia and immigration reform ideals in the run up to the election.
Their resilience has been among the election's many surprises: Fillon because his campaign seemed mortally wounded by revelations that his wife and children benefited from cushy, and allegedly illegal, publicly funded jobs, and Macron because his campaign caught fire despite hostility from the left-right political establishment.
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Hard-left presidential challenger Jean-Luc Melenchon and conservative Francois Fillon were neck-and-neck behind the frontrunners in an opinion poll on Thursday, as candidates made last-ditch appeals to undecided voters.
"If he was indeed he was a Fiche S.it's going to bring out some cries from they public and some politicians as well, about why, if he was under surveillance, and if the police knew about this person, why he could possibly have pulled this off tonight with a semiautomatic weapon while he was free", CNN's Paris bureau chief Jim Bitterman said.
A woman walks by a presidential campaign poster against Emmanuel Macron reading "In march to the social suicide, everything except Macron" displayed in Paris, Thursday, April 20, 2017.
"Do not listen to the siren songs of those who promise you a great French future after getting rid of all that is part of France today, namely its role as a guarantor of European stability and a pillar of the European Union", he said.
"She won't be able to protect our citizens", Macron said of Le Pen.
In a statement, the United Kingdom government said it "strongly condemns the appalling terrorist attack in Paris". ISIS also claimed credit for the November 2015 attack that saw 130 people shot to death at a concert hall and neighboring venues.
The official and another, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Cheurfi was detained toward the end of February after speaking threateningly about police but was then released for lack of evidence.