Carlos The Jackal Snarls Again Claiming 2,000 Kills – Stands Alone On Murder Charges
CARLOS the Jackal, once one of the world’s most feared assassins and at the top of a lot of “Kill On Sight” lists is back on trial for murder in France today.
It came as a bit of a shocker to discover Venezuelan-born Ilitch Ramírez Sánchez, now 62-years-old, was still alive and snarling. He has been in captivity so long he had slipped off the radar. It’s one of those “It can’t Be!” moments when you rack the memory banks to recall which security service finished the murdering swine…the Israelis? French, Germans?
Answer? None of them. He belongs to the pre-Al-Qaeda terrorist set and actually got an arrest and fair trial. The arrest was security agent snatch rather than the now usual special forces double tap containment.
He has been in the slammer, a lot of it in solitary confinement, in France since 1994, when he was captured by French secret-service agents.
Carlos, a former member of the leftist Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine, is already serving a life sentence for the killings of two French police agents and a Lebanese informer in 1975 — the same year in which he and followers took several oil ministers hostage at an OPEC meeting in Vienna, killing a Libyan delegate, an Austrian police officer and an Iraqi bodyguard. He has never been tried or convicted for that offence.
This time he is the dock over four bombing attacks which killed 11 people and wounded almost 200 in France in 1982 and 1983.
With aplomb only the French could muster Ramirez has been given a cell phone so he can talk to anyone he wishes about the new trial.
He has boasted to the Venezuelan daily El Nacional in Caracas, of committing more than 100 attacks claiming up to 2,000 lives.
El Nacional asked about civilian bystanders who lost their lives and reports the reply:
“There were very few. I calculated that they were fewer than 10 percent.
“So out of 1,500 – 2,000 killed, there were not more than 200 civilian victims,” he said.
He is there alone even though French prosecutors have charged three other suspects in the bombing cases, Ramirez is the only defendant present in court during the expected six-week trial. Germany has refused to extradite one of The Jackal’s alleged accomplices and the other two remain free.
The trial will be almost surrealist recalling the 1980s:
Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s Premier and had just reclaimed the Falklands, the IRA was exploding bombs in British cities, Charles married Diana and Chernobyl nuclear reactors went into meltdown. Colonel Moammar Gadhafi was at his peak powers, Carlos The Jackal was the World’s Most Wanted and the Berlin Wall still stood as the symbol of the even more secure Iron Curtain across Europe.
When the Berlin Wall toppled and freedom came to eastern Europe the Jackal had nowhere to run. The man who had once lived in Britain, trained in Russia and with the Palestinians, retreated to Syria and later to Khartoum, Sudan. In 1994, he was due to have medical treatment when the authorities told the French and handed him over to French Agents. He was taken to France for trial and jailed for life.
Image above: Magdalena Kopp, once a Red Army Faction member, now lives quietly in Germany. She and The Jackal married in the late 80s and have a daughter
One of the attacks he is now charged with was in March 1982 after a bomb exploded on a Paris to Toulouse train. Five people died at once and dozens injured.
The French think the attack was part of the campaign to free Kopp, then an active cell member of the Red Army Faction, German terrorist group. She was the Jackal’s girlfriend. Kopp had been arrested in Paris a month earlier, carrying explosives.
Image: The car bombing near the Champs-Élysées Al Watan newspaper office in Paris 1982.
In the April 1982 attack the offices of Paris newspaper, Al Watan Al Arabi were car bombed. The paper supported Iraq and was hostile to the Syrian regime. Ramirez is having to answer to two more charges: On the same day in December 1983 a bomb exploded on a train from Marseille to Paris, and another at Marseille railway station.
So, the man who killed and maimed, terrorised nations and spawned a generation of Hollywood blockbusters makes it to the top of the news lists one last time.