Strasbourg: French far-right leader Marine Le Pen accused the EU on Tuesday of weakening France`s defences against terror, saying in the wake of the Paris attacks that the country could no longer control its own borders.
"The EU has weakened us" in the face of "Islamic fundamentalism", Le Pen told the European Parliament in Strasbourg during a debate on last week`s Islamist attacks by three French nationals in which 17 people were killed.
The National Front leader said the European Union had forced France into the "total opening" of its borders and blamed it for economic austerity policies which had weakened France`s military and police forces.
"If we had kept our national borders, we would probably have been able to stop many of those who have travelled to fight in Syria or train in Yemen from coming back to French territory, as happened with at least one of the fundamantalist terrorists killed in recent days."
Said Kouachi, one of two brothers who attacked the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine last week, apparently travelled to Yemen in 2011 and received weapons and training from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Le Pen -- who has herself been mocked by Charlie Hebdo in the past -- called for "urgent" steps to strip dual nationals of their French citizenship if they travel to fight abroad so they could not return.
Le Pen is widely expected to make a bid for the French presidency in 2017 elections. She took over the reins of the far-right party from her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2011.