Carlos the Jackal, Carlos the Jihadi

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The brutal and charismatic terrorist once known all over the world as Carlos the Jackal, already serving a life sentence pronounced in 1997 in France for the murder of two policemen and an informant in 1975, went on trial again this week in France – this time for terrorism charges, for which he faces another life sentence.

Describing himself to the court as “a professional revolutionary,” the 62-year-old Carlos launched into diatribes against “racist” Israel and “Zionist exploiters,” drawing applause from supporters in the packed courthouse, to whom he blew kisses. He denied involvement in the crimes in question, from 1982-3 in France; but in an interview the day before, he boasted that the operations he plotted in his career resulted in 2000 deaths. As for the innocent victims, Carlos justified their Marxist-inspired murders this way: “There were very few. I calculated that they were fewer than 10 percent. So out of 1,500 to 2,000 killed, there were not more than 200 civilian victims.” One of his defense attorneys asked the court instead to spare a thought for “victims” of Western-backed wars in Libya and Afghanistan.

Born Ilich Ramirez Sanchez in Venezuela, Carlos was named after Vladimir Ilich Lenin, whom Carlos’ rabidly Marxist father called “the biggest man in all humanity” (Carlos’ younger brothers were named Vladimir and Lenin). “Humanity before the bomb is divided into two periods,” his father said, “before and after Lenin, not Christ who was an ordinary, run-of-the-mill man.”

The successful lawyer spoonfed ideology to his child with an almost religious devotion, setting the boy on a path of ideological hatred and terrorist violence early on. “Revolution is my supreme euphoria,” Carlos claimed. He joined the Venezuelan Communist Youth at 15, where he organized anti-government street marches and learned how to make Molotov cocktails and set cars on fire.

He was then supposedly sent to Cuba at the age of 17 to complete his education in a political indoctrination camp which also ran courses in sabotage techniques, run by Castro’s secret service and a local KGB boss. There he was trained in small arms, explosives, cryptography, falsification of documents, and other revolutionary skills.

Sent to London to study, he joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1970 at the age of 21, after further Marxist student activism and training in guerrilla warfare. An affluent young Latin playboy who enjoyed living large while plotting to rid the world of capitalist oppression, Carlos, whose motto was “life, duty, revolution,” idolized another murderer, Ché Guevara. He fumbled his way through an assassination attempt, then botched (but deadly nonetheless) grenade and bomb attacks in Paris, and two failed RPG attacks at Paris airports, before shooting dead two French detectives and fleeing to Beirut.

The unrepentant killer led a bold assault on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna in 1975 (for which he donned a beret in the style of Ché), a hostage-taking operation that catapulted him to international fame and earned him upwards of $20 million in ransom payout. But his failure to follow orders and to execute specific hostages cost him his membership in the PFLP.

Thereafter and throughout the ‘80s, Carlos connected with a variety of terrorist partners, including Saddam Hussein, to continue his reign of terror. He even spearheaded a plot to assassinate Egypt’s Anwar Sadat, only to have the Muslim Brotherhood beat him to it.

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  • Big Irish

    What the French should do is take Carlos to the mightiest oak tree, tie a nice strong rope around his neck and let him dangle while buzzards pick away at his vile rotting corpse…oh wait, this is France…land of the surrender monkeys.

    • flyingtiger

      This is France, they would never hang Carlos.
      They have gullotines for this and then have wine and cheese afterwards.

  • jacob

    I wonder how come in the land of the guillotine, CARLOS THE JACKAL
    wasn't madeas my father used to say, one head shorter…

    Would it be possible that this second lawsuit against him might bring some
    "humanitarian" consideration to his life sentence, in line with the Scottish to
    the Lybian mastermind of the Lockerbie massacre, easily to be expected
    from the spineless SARKOZY in deference to his practical masters, France's
    Muslims ?????
    You know, think evil and you'll hit it right on….

  • Marcel

    I hope Carlos get's to see the light of day soon! Hold on there, brave fighter for your revolutionary comrades will never forget you! Even in death your triumphs will live in our hearts, for when our enemy suffers the oppressed world's people smile.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Apparently you must nurture a dream to be a perpetual useful idiot like Carlos. Indeed, I hope you reap the same just rewards in life.

    • Ghostwriter

      From what I've heard of this guy,I hope not.

  • winoceros

    Isn't that sweet. What one slave won't do for another.

    Tough to see all those liberty-minded people out there in the world, idn't it? Must drive you just crazy.

    Tell me, when you have this "revolution" of violence, death, and anarchy, do you think you'll get to be in charge or will it be kinda like the general assembly and their ineffectual finger-wiggling?

    What a shame, 62 years of communist belief and effort and all that happened is that there are fewer communist regions of the world. What a wasted life.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Carlos is a true terrorists as opposed to his Islamic friends and allies, who are jihadists instead. Indeed, Carlos' motivation is Marxist revolution, while his jihadists friends and allies' motivation is the fulfillment of the sixth and most important pillar of Islam, which makes it an obligatory duty for EVERY MUSLIM to fight jihad in the cause of Allah against non-Muslim unbelievers to make Islam supreme. Thus, in the eyes of Muslims, Carlos is seen as a convenient useful idiot. Otherwise, he would be just another run of the mill non-Muslim unbeliever that should be subjugated, converted, or killed, which is what would also inevitably happen to Carlos as well if he suddenly stopped being a convenient useful idiot and lived in the Islamic world.

    Regarding his conversion to Islam, it's obvious it is not a genuine conversion, as Islam makes no provisions for an equitable redistribution of wealth.

  • Ghostwriter

    I had a fictionalized version of Carlos the Jackal in mind for one of my stories. He goes after an immigrant couple from Venezuela and their American-born son in revenge for a lawsuit that the couple had against the fictional Carlos' father after a company he represented swindled them and a few others in a fake real estate deal. They won the lawsuit and later immigrated to America a few years later. I had no idea who would go up against the fictionalized version of Carlos but from what I've seen of your article,my fictional version can't compete with the real-life Carlos for sheer cruelty and evil.

  • Debanjan Banerjee

    "Regarding his conversion to Islam, it's obvious it is not a genuine conversion, as Islam makes no provisions for an equitable redistribution of wealth. "

    My Answer — I do not want to comment regarding the reason behind Carlos's conversion to Islam but it is plainly incorrect to say Islam makes no provisions for an equal distribution of wealth.

    Muslims are required to do free trade and be rich but at the same time pay a portion of their incomes as Jakat so that the needy and poor can be cared of by the Islamic state so as to prevent social degradation and poverty and hunger.

    The Prophet(PBUH) himself is a glorious example that when he died , even being virtually the Monarch without crown in Arabia , he left only a few arms and a few very simple belongings since the Prophet(PBUH) was always interested in the afterlife and not the current one.