Friday, 16 December 2011

A final epitaph for the Jackal in Paris

For anyone who grew up in the 1970's the name of Carlos the Jackal and those dark glasses will be for ever etched in the memory.

Last night juts before midnight,A French court found him guilty of organising four deadly attacks in France almost 30 years ago.

Already serving a life sentence in a Paris prison for a triple murder in 1975,the latest conviction relates to attacks that killed 11 people and injured more than 140 others in the early 1980's

The Jackal,real name Ilich Ramirez Sanchez was maybe more notorious for the raid that he led on OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna in 1975.

The goal was to take over the conference, by force and kidnap all the government ministers in attendance and hold them for ransom with the exception of Arabia's Sheik Yamani and Iran's Jamshid Amouzegar, who were to be executed during the attack

His group killed three people, and took 63 people hostage, including 11 OPEC ministers.

Calling his group the "Arm of the Arab Revolution," Carlos demanded that an anti-Israeli political statement be broadcast over radio, and that a bus and jet be provided for the terrorists and their hostages. Austrian authorities complied, and all the hostages were released in Algeria unharmed.

The guilty verdict of last night related to a orgy of terror in 1982-83,which were as a reposnse to the French government holding his then-girlfriend Magdalena Kopp,with whom he later married and had a daughter,and comrade-in-arms Bruno Breguet.

Refusing his demands,Carlos unleashed four terrorist attacks,in March 1982 on a Paris-Toulouse train,April 1982 on the Paris offices of an Arabic-language newspaper, and two attacks on New Year's Eve 1983, one on a high-speed TGV train and another on a train station in Marseille.

He acted as a freelance terrorist for various Arab groups and is suspected to have killed as many as 80 people in a chain of bombings, hijackings, and assassinations and managed to evade international authorities until 1994, when French agents captured him hiding in the Sudan.

Secretly extradited to France, he was sent to a French prison, where he lived for three years before being put on trial in 1997 for the 1975 Paris murders of two French counterintelligence officers and a pro-Palestinian Lebanese who had turned informant.

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