[FOUNTAIN]Making Terrorists Comfortable

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[FOUNTAIN]Making Terrorists Comfortable

A left-wing terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal," 51, recently said at La Sante prison in Paris, where he is serving a life sentence, that he plans to marry his lawyer.

His real name is Ilyich Ramirez Sanchez. Ilyich is an unusual name for a Venezuelan, but his brothers' names are Lenin and Vladimir. The father of Carlos, who was a left-wing lawyer, named their sons after Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, one of the principal leaders of the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Carlos the Jackal is best known for leading the 1975 assault on an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in Vienna, where he took oil ministers from several countries hostage and demanded the release of imprisoned Palestinian guerrillas. He withdrew after he received a ransom of $50 million.

He was captured by French authorities in Sudan in August, 1994, and sent to France, where he was sentenced to life in prison in 1997 by a Paris court. He was convicted of murdering two French intelligence agents sent to arrest him in 1975 and of masterminding four terror attacks in the early 1980s.

Carlos the Jackal, who says he has killed 80 people, told a Spanish newspaper in February that he was unrepentant - indeed, proud - of his crimes. Asked what he thought about his victims, he evaded answering, saying he was thinking about the pain of all those persecuted, especially that of millions of people who, he claimed, had been sacrificed to capitalism.

"The Day of the Jackal," a novel by Frederick Forsyth which was made into two movies, was inspired by Carlos' murders and terror attacks.

French authorities seem to be acting very generously toward the jailed terrorist; he began in May 1999 to write a column for a Venezuelan weekly newspaper, La Razon.

Carlos filed a case in July with the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that the French authorities infringed on his human rights by keeping him in solitary confinement for six years.

The attorney in the case was Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, who plans to marry the terrorist. Coutant-Peyre claims that the French authorities used isolation as a means of torture, and that solitary confinement destroys human beings physically and mentally.

The court ruled against Carlos.

While terrorist attacks have emerged as a global issue in recent days, a terrorist who bathed the 20th century in blood is writing columns from his cell, requesting a more comfortable life in prison and is now planning to remarry. Well, it will take some time for both to go through divorce procedures.



The writer is a deputy international news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.


by Chae In-taek

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