Carlos the Jackal, a notorious Venezuelan militant serving two life sentences, has been handed a third by a French court. The self-styled revolutionary, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez and is now 67, was convicted of a 1974 grenade attack on a Paris shop. Ramirez threw a grenade into the shopping area, killing two and injuring 32 others, the court found. He denied the charges and called the trial, 43 years later, “absurd”.
No-one has executed more people than me in the Palestinian resistance [and] I am the only survivor. In all the fighting, there were collateral victims, it’s unfortunate.
Carlos the Jackal, in March
Born into a wealthy Venezuelan family, Ramirez studied in Moscow before joining the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He converted to Islam in 1975. When his latest trial began in early March, he said that any killings he had committed had been carried out in the name of “the revolution” and condemned “scavenging” lawyers and “Zionist interests”. Once the world’s most wanted fugitive, he was captured by elite French police in the Sudanese capital Khartoum in 1994. By the time of his arrest, he had earned a reputation as a Marxist militant who had masterminded deadly bomb attacks, assassinations and hostage-takings. He got his nickname after a copy of Frederick Forsyth’s novel The Day of the Jackal was found among his belongings.