By Jason Burke
So once again, there will be the tricolour flag projected on buildings around the world, a hashtag expressing solidarity with France, and declarations of sympathy.
There will also be the question: why is France suffering a wave of extremist violence that is more intense – certainly more lethal – than any other seen in the west since the 9/11 attacks almost 15 years ago?
Though it is still unclear if the driver of the truck in Nice was linked to any broader network or organisation – prosecutors on Friday said only that his actions were in line with an Isis call to action – his attack is a grim reminder of the bloodshed on Paris just months ago.
One reason that France is a particular target is down to a specific decision by Islamic State to target it. In September 2014, shortly after the beginning of airstrikes by a US-led coalition which includes France, the chief spokesman for Isis, Mohammad al-Adnani, singled out the “spiteful French” among a list of enemies in a speech calling for the group’s sympathisers to launch attacks across the west.