Carlos the Jackal, Carlos the Jihadi

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Eventually, Carlos went into hiding, faded into impotence, and was snatched from the Sudan in 1994 by French agents who brought him back for trial. He never became the celebrated pop icon that the Ché is, but in his time Carlos was almost as much a household name as Osama bin Laden is today, and he reveled in his fame. He was the subject of a five-and-a-half hour miniseries a year ago which romanticized him to some extent but did not rationalize or soften the edges of his misogyny, selfishness, and utter indifference to the victims of his class war.

Convinced that fundamentalist Islam is the new wave of anti-imperialism, the imprisoned Carlos became a Muslim and wrote a book about “revolutionary Islam,” which he says “attacks the ruling classes in order to achieve a more equitable redistribution of wealth.” As far back as 1995 he realized that “a new kind of militant, the Islamic revolutionist,” had joined the revolution of which he had become the spearhead. Quoted in Jackal: The Complete Story of the Legendary Terrorist Carlos the Jackal by John Follain, Carlos says that “true Islamic revolutionaries… form the vanguard of the struggle against imperialism and Zionism.”

In a 2003 article entitled “The Axis of Terror,” Paris-based Iranian journalist Amir Taheri offers up a summary of the contents of Carlos’ book. In it, the “professional revolutionary” praises bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks, and claims that only a coalition of Islamic and Marxist revolutionaries can bring down America the imperialist oppressor, a pursuit Carlos describes as “the highest goal of humanity.”

And he has been embraced in turn by the jihadists. The publisher of a weekly al Qaeda bulletin from a Turkish terrorist organization said in an interview, “bin Laden, like our commander [Salih] Mirzabeyoglu and our soul-mate Carlos the Jackal, is one of the architects of the new world that will be built following the triumph of Islam.”

Unsurprisingly, Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez too calls Carlos a friend. “They accuse him of being a terrorist, but Carlos really was a revolutionary fighter,” Chavez said during a televised speech to socialist politicians from various countries, who applauded.

But in the courtroom this week, lawyers for his victims asserted that “Carlos is going to have to realise that he’s not here to conduct a revolution but to answer for his acts,” and that the trial will mark “the end of the culture of impunity” for terrorists.

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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.