Paris attacks: Two worlds collide on street where terrorists lived

The counter-slogan “Je suis Kouachi” has appeared on Twitter more than 2,000 times

On the pleasant suburban street where Saïd and Chérif Kouachi lived, the gulf between mainstream French society and the descendants of immigrants from former colonies is painfully apparent.

The neighbourhood is very different from more rundown Paris suburbs, where dilapidated tower blocks are infested by drug dealers and gangs attack police as soon as they are spotted coming close.

By contrast, the northern Paris suburb of Gennevilliers, where the Charlie Hebdo gunmen shared a fourth-floor flat in a clean, well-maintained building, has a prosperous, middle-class feel.
It is an ethnically mixed area, home to skilled workers, teachers and nurses.

In the Sahara cafe a few doors down from the Kouachis’ building, Arab and African youths ate lamb kebabs and drank tea.

They said they knew the brothers by sight, but not well. Many said they shared the disgust of the hundreds of thousands who marched in condemnation of the terror attacks. “Killing is not Islamic,” a customer said.

However, on the streets outside, others were determined to make a very different view heard.

“We’re not in the march today because to us the Kouachis are our local heroes,” a bearded man in his early 20s said…