15 August, 2006

The Roots of Modern Terrorism

Today marks the date in 1994 when one of the most notorious terrorists, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was apprehended and handed over to the French government. Sanchez, known more infamously as "Carlos The Jackal" began his reign in 1973 and quickly gained the reputation of a preeminent assassin.
As I was reading about Carlos, I found an entry in Wiki that is fairly comprehensive. In his history, there are several links to the figures on the contemporary terror landscape. Here's a snip that I found rather interesting -

Wikipedia -
The Syrian government forced Ramírez Sánchez to remain inactive and he was soon no longer seen as a threat but rather a pathetic figure. However in 1990 the Iraqi government approached him and in September 1991 he was expelled from Syria and eventually found a temporary home in Jordan. He found better protection in Sudan and moved to Khartoum.

During his career, most of it during the Cold War, western accounts persistently claimed he was a KGB agent but the link is tenuous at best. It is now clear that he had no part in the Munich Massacre (the attack on Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972) or the 1976 hijacking of Air France Flight 193 to Entebbe. Some attacks may have been attached to him for lack of anyone else to claim the credit. His own boasts about probably nonexistent "missions" confuse the matter even more.

And this -
He is known to have had a sporadic correspondence with Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez Frías from his prison cell. President Chávez replied, with a letter in which he addresses Carlos as "distinguished compatriot" [1][2] [3] On June 1st 2006, the president Hugo Chávez referred to him as his "friend" during a meeting of OPEC countries held in Caracas. [4].

In June 2003, Ramírez Sánchez published a collection of writings from his jail cell. The book, whose title translates to Revolutionary Islam, seeks to explain and defend violence in terms of class conflict. In the book, he voices support for Osama bin Laden and his attacks on the United States. He also supports Saddam Hussein for resisting against USA, calling him "Last Arabic Knight".

Ramírez Sánchez is, as of 2004, engaged to his lawyer, Isabelle Coutant-Peyre.

In 2005, The European Court of Human Rights heard a complaint from Sánchez that his long years of solitary confinement constitute "inhuman and degrading treatment." Although the Court rejected this claim, it was on appeal as of early 2006. Sánchez is currently held in Clairvaux prison, where he is part of the general inmate population.


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