Shell-shocked French citizens have seen their country come under repeated attack throughout 2015, starting with the Charlie Hebdo killings in January.
Five months later, a suspected Islamist beheaded his boss and tried to blow up a U.S-owned industrial gas plant in the suburbs of Lyon.
And in July a machine gun-toting attacker wounded three people on a high-speed train in France before he was overpowered by several passengers
The latest horrific attack comes with reports claiming that the terrorists told their hostages that they were carrying out their rampage of violence in retribution for France's use of air strikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Fears remain that France may be the country of choice for another terror attacks, with concerns surrounding about extremists radicalising vulnerable individuals from parts of the capital's poor and struggling Muslim suburbs
In January three Islamist gunmen killed 17 people in coordinated terror strikes across Paris.
The victims, including journalists and police, were killed in three days of violence, including a mass shooting at the weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo, known for its satirical attacks on Islam and other religions.
The attackers, two French-born brothers of Algerian origin, singled out the magazine for its publication of cartoons depicting and ridiculing the Prophet Mohammad.
Among the slain was Stephane Charbonnier, the defiant editor whose satirical newspaper dared to poke fun at everything from religion to feminism.
Both attackers, Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, were of Algerian descent, and had struggled with employment before they carried out their devastating attacks.
Calmly leaving behind a scene resembling a war zone with bullet-riddled windows and the cries of the dying and wounded, the men ran on to the street outside – with the subsequent murder of an injured policeman caught on camera.
Witnesses said they heard the gunmen shouting 'We have avenged the Prophet Mohammed', 'God is Great' in Arabic and boasting 'We have killed Charlie Hebdo.'
The gunmen made their escape before stopping to kill the wounded officer, Ahmed Merabet, and then to hijack a car after their own vehicle was damaged in a crash.
Charlie Hebdo Editor Stéphane Charbonnier – one of the victims – spoke out fiercely against political correctness, saying: 'It should be as normal to criticise Islam as it is to criticise Jews or Catholics.'
The 47-year-old, who took over as editor in 2009, grew up in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, northern France and joined Charlie Hebdo in the early 1990s as a designer.
Jean 'Cabu' Cabut was another victim. The magazine's 76-year-old lead cartoonist was an almost legendary cultural figure in France.
The bloodshed ended on January 9 with a hostage-taking at a Jewish supermarket in which four hostages and the gunman were killed. The terror chief behind the murders was later killed in a drone attack in Yemen.
In June, a suspected Islamist beheaded his boss, Herve Cornara, and tried to blow up a U.S-owned industrial gas plant in the suburbs of Lyon.
Terror fears continued to dog France, with officials confirming in July that they had prevented an attack on a senior French military official by arresting four people whose leader had links to jailed jihadists.
One month later, a machine gun-toting attacker wounded three people on a high-speed train in France before he was overpowered by several passengers.
Ayoub el-Khazzani, who was reportedly radicalized while living in Spain, was arrested after the shooting when the Amsterdam-to-Paris train stopped at Arras station in northern France.
No one was killed but several people, including the U.S. citizen and French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade were wounded in the foiled attack.
French jets began bombing ISIS targets in eastern Syria tonight, according to France's defense ministry, hours after the country's national police launched an international manhunt for a "dangerous" suspect wanted for involvement in the Paris attacks.
The French Ministry of Defense said it targeted a command post and a terrorist training camp, dropping 20 bombs on ISIS’s de facto capital in Raqqa, Syria. The first target included a command post, jihadist recruiting center and a weapons warehouse, the ministry said.
Ten French fighter jets were launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan in an operation carried out in coordination with U.S. military command, the French Defense Ministry said.