Marine Le Pen warns of Islamic fundamentalism in wake of Brussels attacks

Speaking in Montreal, Marine Le Pen, the controversial head of France's far-right party, le Front National, used the attacks in Belgium as an opportunity to issue a warning about the threat of terrorism.

Head of France's Front National midway through Quebec visit, shunned by local politicians for far-right stand

France's Front National Leader Marine Le Pen leaves a news conference on Sunday in Quebec City. Several of her events in Quebec have attracted protesters. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

The head of France's controversial far-right Front National is using the attacks in Belgium as an opportunity to issue a warning to Quebecers about the threat of terrorism. 

In Montreal on Tuesday, Marine Le Pen told reporters, "We need to take seriously the criminal networks of Islamic fundamentalists that exist in our countries."

"I've maintained this position in France for months. And I will repeat the same thing everywhere I go," she said.

"I don't get the sense that Islamic fundamentalism is being treated like the threat it really is. And just like I saw in France in the past, here in Canada, whoever condemns Islamic fundamentalism is accused of Islamophobia."

Le Pen, who has been criticized by many in France for what are seen as thinly veiled racist positions, is in the middle of a week-long tour of Quebec.

Marine Le Pen speaks to reporters in Montreal on Tuesday. (Charles Contant/CBC)
Several of her events have been marred by protests, and a news conference planned for Tuesday in Montreal was cancelled, with a spokesperson citing security concerns. 

Premier Philippe Couillard has stated he won't meet with Le Pen during her stay, while opposition politicians have also steered clear.

In Brussels on Tuesday, explosions rocked the airport and subway system, killing several dozen people and injuring many more.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Belgium's federal prosecutor said that at least one of the explosions at the airport was likely caused by a suicide bomber. He earlier described the explosions as terror attacks.