He believes Belmokhtar is trying to inspire individual jihadists to carry out their own attacks, much like those by Mohamed Merah, who carried out a shooting spree around Toulouse last year.

“Belmokhtar [is] not able to build a big group to attack France,” argues Mr Trevidic. “So he said, ‘you are already in France do what you can. Do the jihad by yourselves. Fight France by all means you can find.'”

Despite the heightened threats to the country, Mr Trevidic says France was right to intervene in Mali.

“France didn’t want to go alone in the beginning in Mali but it had no choice. Because can you imagine all these Islamic groups in Bamako?