Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Stephane Charbonnier had just convened a meeting with his magazine's staff on Wednesday when two gunmen stormed into the building in Paris and shot dead 12 people, including the editor, several cartoonists, as well as police officers.
Charbonnier, or 'Charb', as he is popularly known, had been on the 'Most Wanted List' of terror groups such as the Al Qaeda ever since the magazine published a controversial cartoon depicting Prophet Muhammad, an act considered sacrilegious in Islam.
The Charlie Hebdo office was even firebombed in 2011 following the cartoon, but Charbonnier and his team went ahead and published another similar cartoon the next year, drawing ire from hard-liners around the world.
Charb had, however, defended the cartoons saying, "I don't feel as though I'm killing someone with a pen. I'm not putting lives at risk. When activists need a pretext to justify their violence, they always find it," in an interview in 2012.
Charlie Hebdo, is a satirical weekly newspaper founded in 1969, which is known for publishing cartoons and caricatures making strong statements on politics and religion.
The paper, with a circulation of 45,000, was labelled 'anti-religious' after it took potshots at several religions apart from Islam, even caricaturing the sex scandal in the Catholic Church, and even targeting world leaders.