World's Worst Crimes: An A-Z of Evil Deeds

World's Worst Crimes: An A-Z of Evil Deeds by Charlotte Greig Read Free Book Online

Book: World's Worst Crimes: An A-Z of Evil Deeds by Charlotte Greig Read Free Book Online
Authors: Charlotte Greig
millionaire Marxist lawyer who named his three sons Vladimir, Ilich and Lenin. The young Ilich travelled around the world, picking up skills as a linguist on the way. He later used these as a cover for his activities, posing as a language teacher. As he grew up, he also became involved in youth communist activities. In 1966 his parents divorced, and he moved to London with his mother and brothers.
    A Bullet In The Head
    Sanchez went on to study in the Soviet Union, at the Patrice Lumumba University there, where he came into contact with the Communist Party. His interest was in the problems of the Middle East and, at the beginning of the 1970s, he was sent to Amman, Jordan, to train as a guerrilla fighter for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). At this time, he began to use his nickname ‘Carlos’. ‘The Jackal’ was added later, when a copy of the spy thriller The Day of the Jackal was found at one of his hide-outs.
    After his spell in the Middle East, he returned to London. There, possibly under orders from the PFLP, he performed his first terrorist act. He shot and wounded British businessman Edward Seiff, head of the chain store Marks and Spencer and a major figure in Jewish life. Carlos called on Seiff’s house and forced his way in with a gun; it was only by sheer luck that the bullet he put into Seiff’s head did not kill the man. During this time, Carlos bombed an Israeli bank, the Hapoalim Bank, in London.
    Bomb Attacks
    Carlos then went on to make a series of bomb attacks in France. He bombed the premises of newspaper buildings accused of being pro-Israeli, often making warning calls and arranging for the bombs to be detonated at night, ‘to limit casualties’, as he said. However, his subsequent attacks in France showed different patterns, and some caused a great deal of damage. In 1982, one person was killed and sixty-three were injured when a car bomb exploded in the centre of Paris.
    His most notorious attack was in 1975, at an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Vienna, when he led a team of terrorists who seized over sixty hostages and killed three people. Carlos and his men stormed the meeting, and then demanded that a statement they had written be read out and transmitted by radio all over the Middle East. The terrorists left with their hostages, including ministers from eleven OPEC states. After negotiations with the Austrian government, the hostages were released and the terrorists granted asylum.
    From this point, it became clear that Carlos was enjoying his notoriety. The Palestinian groups that had supported him now withdrew their backing. However, Carlos continued to mount terrorist attacks across Europe. Dozens of people were killed and hundreds injured in these attacks.
    The Killer Playboy
    During this time, Carlos was harboured by radical Arab regimes in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. He was protected by the governments of these countries from the agencies that were trying to hunt him down: the CIA, Interpol and French intelligence. As his career continued, it became clear that he was now also acting as a mercenary for these regimes, carrying out attacks at their behest for money. He is thought to have amassed a fortune through this work, and acquired a reputation as a playboy who enjoyed the high life.
    In 1982, he and a terrorist group attacked a nuclear reactor in France, but the attempt failed. Two members of the group were arrested, including Carlos’ wife Magdalena Kopp, who was connected to the Bader-Meinhof gang in Germany. Carlos wrote to the police asking them to release the pair, and then went on to launch a series of bombings, including one on a passenger train in France, killing five people and injuring dozens more. Despite this attempt to intimidate the authorities, the terrorists were convicted, and Kopp was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. Once she had served her term, she was set free to rejoin Carlos.

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