French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Thursday took down a picture that showed the decapitated body of American journalist James Foley from her Twitter account, after drawing harsh criticism from Foley's family. Le Pen, who has posted several other graphic images of atrocities carried out by the Islamic State group, is now embroiled in a federal investigation over the posts.
The images included a photo of Foley that showed his bloodied body with his decapitated head on his torso. Foley, who was abducted in Syria in 2012, was executed by ISIS in 2014. Other two photos on Le Pen's account were that of a man on fire in a cage, and a victim being driven over by a tank. She captioned the photos, “This is Daesh,” using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
"We are deeply disturbed by the unsolicited use of Jim for Le Pen’s political gain and hope that the picture of our son, along with the two other graphic photographs, are taken down immediately," Foley’s parents said, condemning Le Pen’s actions, according to the Associated Press.
However, Le Pen only took down Foley’s image Thursday and left the other two gruesome images on her Twitter account.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls criticized Le Pen, describing the photos as "monstrous.” He reportedly wrote on his Twitter account: "Madame Le Pen: inflaming public debate, political and moral failing, non-respect for victims."
According to reports, Le Pen’s tweets were addressed to local BFM TV journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin, whom she accused of likening her party Front National (FN) to ISIS. Bourdin reportedly said that both the Sunni militant group and Le Pen's party focus on identity and thus share a “community of spirit.”
However, Bourdin dismissed Le Pen's allegations and called her reaction "hysterical."
"At no point did I say the FN was like Daesh," Bourdin said.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has reportedly called for a probe into Le Pen's posts, saying that the photos are "Daesh propaganda and are a disgrace, an abomination and an absolute insult to all victims of ... Daesh.”