The 21st Century Phenomenon



Said Kouachi (1) was born in 1980 and Cherif Kouachi (2) in 1982 in the 10th arrondissement in Paris to parents of Algerian descent.. When they became orphans, few years later, they were raised in a foster care in Rennes, in western France, with Cherif training as a fitness instructor before moving back to Paris. In the early 2000s, Cherif joined his elder brother Said Kouachi at his home near Paris

 When grew up They lived in the 19th arrondissement of Northern Paris Cherif Kouachi worked variously as a pizza delivery driver and a shop assistant,listened to rap music and drank beer.  In early 2005, Cherif Kouachi appeared on French television as an aspiring rap artist.

 Cherif Kouachi  had begun attending Dawa mosque and gradually radicalised by Farid Benyettou, the head of the a janitor-turned-preacher who gave sermons calling for jihad in Iraq and suicide bombings ( see – SYRIAN DILEMA ).

 According to French court documents, Cherif Kouachi has a long history of jihad and anti-Semitism and is described as wanting to go to Iraq through Syria “to go and combat the Americans.”

 Both Cherif Kouachi was first arrested in 2005 as suspected members of the Buttes Chaumont, headed by Farid Benyettou – a group operating out of the 19th arrondissement of Paris and sending terrorist fighters to Iraq. Cherif Kouachi was detained just as he was about to board a plane for Syria – at the time the gateway for jihadists hoping to fight US troops in Iraq (see – Western-Jihadists ).

 Cherif Kouachi served time in detention, up to 10/2006, at Fleury-Mérogis Prison south of Paris, where he got acquainted to Amedy Coulibaly who converted to Islam during that time, and began radicalizing shortly after. Cherif Kouachi’s wife, Izzana Hamyd, who was detained for 72 hours after the Charlie Hebdo attack began on 01/07/2015, also confirmed to officials that her husband and Amedy Coulibaly were very close. According to Paris prosecutor Francois Molin, she and Amedy Coulibaly’s girlfriend Hayat Boumeddiene exchanged 500 phone calls in 2014

 Cherif Kouachi was convicted in 2008 to three years in prison, with 18 months suspended, for his association with the underground organisation. He was released almost immediately owing to the fact that he had already spent almost three years on remand. Vincent Olliviers, Cherif Kouachi’s lawyer at the time, described him as initially being an ‘apprentice loser – a delivery boy in a cap who smoked hashish and delivered pizzas to buy his drugs. But Mr Ollivier said the ‘clueless kid who did not know what to do with his life met people who gave him the feeling of being important.’

 Cherif Kouachi, who sometimes went by his new  nom de guerre “Abu Issen”, and Amedy Coulibaly were involved in a 2010 attempt to free Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, an Algerian incarcerated for a 1995 subway bombing –  Cherif Kouachi spent about four months in custody or under arrest, but was never formally charged. His elder brother, Said Kouachi was also mentioned, for the first time, in police reports, suggesting that he had been radicalised by this time. After that incident, both Kouachi brothers kept a low profile. Said Kouachi left Paris and moved to the eastern city of Reims, where neighbours say that he had a wife and two children aged four and nine. his wife wore the hijab regularly.

 Said Kouachi traveled to yemen more than once.  In 2010 Said Kouachi met in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital , with Mohammed al-Kibsi, a Yemeni journalist, and told him that he had lived with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Said Kouachi told al-Kibsi that he and Abdulmutallab prayed together at Yemen’s al-Tabari School and studied Arabic at the Sanaa Arabic Grammar Institute. The pair shared an apartment “for one to two weeks” in Yemen, according to al-Kibsi in CNN interview..

 Said Kouachi, visited Yemen again, in 2011,.for  three or more months  French authorities were aware of his contacts with terrorist organizations in Yemen and Syria, French intelligence authorities believe there is a strong probability Cherif Kouachi, the younger brother,also traveled to Yemen for a short trip in 2011.

 Indeed two senior Yemeni sources said, on Sunday.01/11/2015, Said and Cherif Kouachi traveled to Yemen via Oman, on 07/25/2011, and had weapons training in the deserts of Marib, in Wadi Adiba, where Al Qaeda has a presence, “They met Anwar al-Awlaki and then they were trained for three days in the deserts of Marib on how to fire a gun. They returned to Oman and they left Oman on 08/15/2011 to go back to France.” the officials said.

 U.S. officials said they believe Said Kouachi spent several months in Yemen in 2011 receiving weapons training and working with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. A senior Yemeni national security official told CNN that Said Kouachi entered Yemen multiple times with a legal visa and was not being watched. US counterterrorism officials told Yahoo News, on 01/08/2015, that the Kouachi brothers were on a “no fly” list that banned them from boarding commercial aircraft going into and out of the United States.

 The US is now working on the assumption that  Said Kouachi met American terrorist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki at some point in Yemen and received orders from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to carry out an attack, a U.S. official tells CNN.

 On the morning of Wednesday 01/07/2015 Cherif Kouachi and his older brother Said Kouachi carried out the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. their associate Amedy Coulibaly carried out, almost simultaneously, a  parallel string of attacks in Paris.

 Holed up inside a printing factory outside Paris, in Dammartin-en-Goele near Charle-de-Gaulle Paris International Airport, 35 k”m Northeast of Paris.. Cherif Kouachi spoke by phone to a French television network during a seven-hour standoff on Friday 01/09/2015 with French security forces. Cherif Kouachi said he was sent to carry out the massacre by Al Qaeda in Yemen and that the late Anwar al-Awlaki financed his trip.  Both were killed by police in the exchange of fire at about 17:00.


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