The shootings in the French capital come shortly after an outbreak of opportunist attacks in crowded spaces across France prompting fears that copycat attacks could be launched in the UK.
Late last month, a van burst into a Christmas market in the western city of Nantes, injuring 10 people before the driver reportedly began stabbing himself.
In the eastern city of Dijon, a driver reportedly shouting “god is great” in Arabic ran down several people, injuring 13 before coming to a stop. Those incidents came after an attacker knifed three police officers in Tours before he was shot dead by one of the officers.
The terrorist attack at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris will fuel fears that security services are powerless to prevent a similar tragedy occurring on the streets of Britain.
The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre raised the threat level in August against a backdrop of increasing concerns over hundreds of aspiring British jihadis travelling to Iraq and Syria to learn terrorist ”tradecraft”.
A number of alleged terror plots in the UK were thwarted in the last few months of 2014, in which suspected Islamist extremists planned to kill police officers or soldiers in daylight after arming themselves.
Large numbers of terror suspects and supporters have been arrested, most of whom have links to Syria.