17 Dec 2011

Further prison sentence for terrorist

5:56 am on 17 December 2011

Carlos the Jackal has been given a life sentence in France for a series of bomb attacks in the 1980s.

The discovery of fresh evidence led to him being tried for the bombings, which killed 11 people.

Carlos, 62, a Venezuelan whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, is already serving life in prison in Paris for a triple murder in 1975.

He was captured by French special forces in Sudan in 1994. By that time he had earned global notoriety as a mastermind of deadly bomb attacks, assassinations and hostage-takings.

In a five-hour closing statement on Thursday, Ramirez read a text in memory of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who is known to have funded anti-Western attacks.

The first bombing, in March 1982, was on a train between Paris and Toulouse, killing five people and wounding 28.

It was followed a month later by the car bombing of an anti-Syrian newspaper in Paris. One passer-by was killed and 60 injured.

The other two bombings took place on New Year's Eve 1983, with a bomb on a TGV fast train between Marseille and Paris that killed three people and wounded 13, and a bomb at a Marseille train station that killed two.

Ramirez studied in Moscow before joining the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He converted to Islam in 1975.

The BBC reports he got his nickname after a copy of The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth was found among his belongings.