Europe

Carlos the Jackal convicted for 1980s French attacks

Paris courtroom sketch of Carlos the Jackal. 15 Dec 2011
Image caption Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, alias Carlos the Jackal, described himself as a professional revolutionary

Self-styled revolutionary "Carlos the Jackal" has been convicted in France of organising four deadly attacks in the 1980s and sentenced to life in prison.

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

He has denied any role in the bomb attacks in France in 1982 and 1983 that killed 11 people.

The 62-year-old 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.

It was the discovery of fresh evidence that led to him being tried for the bomb attacks in Paris and Marseilles that also left more than 140 people injured.

During his trial, Ramirez described himself as a "man of combat" and a "professional revolutionary".

In his five-hour closing statement on Thursday, he said: "I am a living archive. Most of the people of my level are dead."

He also read a text in memory of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who is known to have funded anti-Western attacks.

Deadly bombings

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 was born into a wealthy Venezuelan family, and studied in Moscow before joining the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He converted to Islam in 1975.

He got his nickname after a copy of Frederick Forsyth's The Day of the Jackal was found among his belongings.