Carlos The Jackal

November 4, 2011 by staff 

Carlos The Jackal, Gray hair and a paunch has replaced his cap, leather jacket and sunglasses, but challenge to Carlos the Jackal remains intact before it is put on trial in France for a series of bombings in the 1980s.

The international revolutionary Venezuela, born Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, he built a career as one of the best known fighters in the world after a hostage taking of oil ministers of OPEC in the name of the Palestinian struggle in 1975.

Since his capture and conviction of nearly two decades ago, the Jackal has been a resident of a French prison.

On Monday, Ramirez, and sentenced to life imprisonment, will face a three-judge panel on t*rror*sm to respond to allegations he was behind four French urban attacks that killed 11 people and wounded nearly 200 in the early 1980.

“I’m really in a combative mood,” said Ramirez, 62, Europe 1 radio last month. “I’m fearful by nature … My character is suitable for this type of combat.”

The Marxist Che Guevara beret became the face of the 1970′s and 80 anti-imperialism, his taste for women and the addition of alcohol to its revolutionary mystique.

“He was the symbol of international left-wing t*rror*sm,” said Francois-Bernard Huyghe, a t*rror*sm expert at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations, IRIS, Paris. “One day can serve the Palestinian cause, the next day you can put bombs on trains in France. It was kind of star.”

Ramirez earned his nickname after a reporter saw a copy of Frederick Forsyth “The Day of the Jackal” in his apartment and mistakenly supposed to be his.

His larger than life ego is manifested in conducting hunger strikes and write letters to U.S. President Barack Obama. He married his lawyer in prison.

But he and his modus operandi are anachronisms, experts say.

“Carlos the Jackal was Osama bin Laden of his day,” he told his biographer, John Follain, Reuters TV. “Terrorism has evolved so much that today represents a lone voice in the wilderness, a beautiful old voice.”

Huyghe was more direct: “A man like Carlos is really a dinosaur today think of it as” historical evidence “..”


Prosecutors said the bombs that struck trains, stations and vehicles parked in 1982 and 1983 were replica Ramirez to police seizure of two of his bands, including his lover.

Ramirez’s fingerprints, say they were in a threatening letter sent to the Interior Minister to demand their release.

But Ramirez’s lawyer, Francis Vuillemin, said the letter does not exist and the trial is a farce, based on questionable evidence provided by state agencies of the secret services.

“Obviously it’s not an angel,” he told Reuters TV Vuillemin. “He represents himself as a commanding officer and as a revolutionary political leader. These are his words, not mine.”

If convicted, Ramirez could receive a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Should serve at least 22 years.

When convicted of killing two French policemen and an informer in 1997, Ramirez raised his fist defiantly and smiled handcuffed before being led out of court.

“I was convicted in a case of sewn-up, without evidence or witnesses,” said the newspaper Liberation last month.

Shady business

The son of a wealthy Marxist lawyer, Ramirez studied in Moscow and soon joined a radical group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. It started life with a cause, but his constant need of weapons, and led him to seek shelter payers whenever he could.

Protectors of the Soviet bloc in short supply at the end of the Cold War, life is more difficult for Ramirez, who jumped from one place to another looking for work.

In 1994, when he was captured by French agents in Khartoum and brought back to France – an episode Ramirez refers to as his “kidnapping” – the jackal had become an international gangster paid by governments worldwide shadow.

However, the former ultra-left command still bridles at suggestions that he was a mercenary.

“I am sure that this man believes what he says,” Huyghe said. “But when it comes to illegal … start having links with mafia and begin to behave like a gangster.

“It was a very complicated life, sometimes he was in Beirut, sometimes found in Sudan, which was negotiating with the secret services. It is a type of business. After all, he is a businessman and he liked the money. ”


Ramirez converted to Islam in 1975 and jail time is devoted to study philosophy and reading the news. In particular, supports the European demonstrators took to the streets to protest austerity measures and corporate wrongdoing.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez once called a fellow “revolutionary fighter”, but the embassy has stopped sending the cigars in jail, Ramirez complained of Liberation.

Used to execute Manuel Noriega, former Panamanian strongman has been blocked in France since 2010, in prison, but were not allowed to talk recently.

“I can not shave, I can not cut my nails – see, are tormenting me, who want to make life difficult,” Ramirez told Europe 1.

But Ramirez believes is a “miracle” is alive today, given what has happened.

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