Carlos the Jackal: Trail of Terror, Parts 1 and 2

A Popular Choice

George Habash
George Habash

While studying at Lumumba, Ilich formed an alliance with several Palestinian students and listened attentively as they related stories of their homeland's struggle against its archenemy Israel. They spoke in glowing terms of a rebel leader who had organized a terrorist campaign to liberate Palestine. The man's name was Wadi Haddad. In partnership with George Habash, a fellow student at the American University in Beirut, Haddad had been instrumental in founding the Arab Nationalist Movement in the early 1950's. The members of the movement dedicated themselves to a campaign to take Palestine back from the Israelis. Prior to the Six-Day War, their methods had been peaceful but soon after, fuelled by bitterness over their nations humiliating defeat, Haddad formed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and introduced a new manifesto - The Liberation of Palestine by acts of violence against the State of Israel. The basic doctrine of the organization was Marxist; the new method used to achieve its ideals was international terrorism. The first such act was in 1968 when armed terrorists hijacked an El Al 707 passenger aircraft that was en route from Rome to Tel Aviv. The aircraft was forced to land in Algiers where the terrorists took the passengers hostage in exchange for the release of sixteen Palestinians who were serving time in Israeli jails. Initially, the Israeli government refused to negotiate with the terrorists but after a month had passed they changed their mind and acceded to the Palestinian requests. The aircraft passengers were released unharmed but not before the Israeli's had suffered a humiliating defeat of their own.

Wadi Haddad
Wadi Haddad

News of Haddad's achievements spread quickly throughout the world and in the years that followed other terrorist groups aligned themselves with his cause including Germany's Baader-Meinhof gang and Italy's Red Brigade. The Popular Front also made a favorable impression on the KGB, which resulted in direct support from Moscow. It was through this alliance with Russia that Ilich first became involved with the Popular Front. Rifaat Abul Auon, Haddad's representative in Moscow, met with Ilich and subsequently invited him and a select group of his fellow students to attend a terrorist training camp in Jordan. Intrigued by the offer, Ilich left Moscow in July 1970 to travel to the Middle East.

His first stop was Beirut where he arrived unannounced at the office of Bassam Abu-Sharif, the unofficial "recruiting officer" for the Popular Front. Abu-Sharif was impressed with the fervor of Ilich's convictions and made arrangements for him to begin his training. According to subsequent investigations, it was at that first meeting that Ilich was given the name that, in the years to come, would strike terror throughout the world. From that day forward, Ilich was known only as "Carlos."

Within weeks of the meeting, Carlos traveled to a Palestinian training camp in the hills north of Amman, Jordan to begin training in weapons handling and explosives interspersed with heavy doses of political propaganda. Even though he did well in his studies there, the course was peppered with fake attacks and other tests of the trainee's bravery. Carlos refused to take them seriously and longed for "real action." In the final week of his training, he got his wish when Israeli jets bombed an adjoining camp and killed a member of Yasser Arafat's personal guard. A week later, Carlos returned to Amman. Anxious to move on to "more exciting" pursuits, Carlos contacted Abou Semir, a senior member of the Popular Front, and was sent to an advanced commando training camp.

Check Out...
Forty Whacks
Argentine Lizzie Borden goes on the attack.
Mystery Meet
This is the trio that tries to raise the dead.
Butt Out
Tipsy man can't keep his pants on.
The 'Hot Pursuit' theme is one great tune.

© 2008 Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. A Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

truTV.com is part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network. Terms & Privacy guidelines