Notorious terrorist Carlos the Jackal — real name: Ilich Ramirez Sanchez — is in a French court Monday, facing charges related to a deadly attack on a shopping center more than 40 years ago. He is already serving a long prison term for the murders of two French secret agents and a Lebanese informant and other crimes.
“Today’s trial concerns the launching of a hand grenade in a Paris shopping mall in 1974 that killed two people and injured dozens,” NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley reports. “Ramirez Sanchez denies involvement but if convicted could receive a third life term.”
Carlos, as he is better known, embraced his reputation in court Monday, reportedly stating, as he has in the past, that he is “a professional revolutionary.”
Lawyers for the imprisoned man include his wife, Isabelle Coutant-Peyre; the pair announced their marriage in 2001, after growing close during previous trials.
Carlos, 67, generated fear and international headlines at the height of his activity in the Cold War years of the 1970s and ’80s. A revolutionary whose father was a wealthy Marxist lawyer, Carlos has cited both Palestinian liberation and communism as inspirations for his violent acts.
Those acts include kidnapping, hijacking and murder, prosecutors say.
As NPR reported in 2011, when Carlos was found guilty in a string of bombings that killed 11 people, “He is suspected of orchestrating the 1975 seizure of OPEC oil ministers in Vienna and the 1976 Palestinian hijacking of a French jetliner to Entebbe, Uganda, which ended with a spectacular Israeli commando raid.”
Here’s how NPR reported on Carlos’ 1994 dramatic capture, which his attorney later said was illegal:
“The most feared terrorist at the time was then undergoing an operation to correct a low sperm count, in Khartoum, Sudan. French secret service men tied him up while he was under anesthesia, put him in a canvas bag, and flew him to Paris, with no formal extradition.”