French far-right leader Marine Le Pen charged over IS tweets

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Le Pen has denounced the indictment, claiming that she is being charged for condemning the murderous terrorist group.

The images, tweeted with the caption "This is Daesh", included a picture of the decapitated body of U.S. reporter James Foley, a man in an orange jumpsuit on fire in a cage, and another man being driven over by a tank.

It's the latest blow to Le Pen, whose party is in crisis after she lost her presidential bid a year ago.

Le Pen, who disputed the presidential election last year, but lost to President Emmanuel Macron, faces a maximum three-year jail term and a United States dollars 90,000 fine, if convicted, France 24 Television said.

This article has been adapted from its original source. She made the Twitter posts several weeks after the Paris terror attacks in November 2015 which killed 129 people.

The prosecutor's office in the Paris suburb of Nanterre said the charges were issued on Thursday for "distribution of violent images". One image showed the decapitated body of Foley, the BBC reports.

Le Pen later deleted the picture of Foley after a request from his family, saying she had been unaware of his identity.

The charges come as Le Pen's party is in crisis after she lost her presidential bid previous year. Liberal candidate Emmanuel Macron is facing far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in an election that has sewn sharp divisions in France.

Along with other right-wing, nationalist movements throughout Europe, the National Front has enjoyed a resurgence amid increasing dissatisfaction with the European Union's immigration policies.

Speaking to Reuters, the elder Le Pen, who led the FN for almost four decades and lost a presidential run-off against Jacques Chirac in 2002, said: "This initiative is suicidal".

A probe was also opened against Gilbert Collard, a National Front lawmaker in France, who had tweeted a similar violent image on the same day and for the same reason.

"I am being charged for having condemned the horrors of Daesh", Le Pen told AFP. "In other countries this would have earned me a medal".