Carlos the Jackal is one of the most notorious names of the 20th century. Born Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, he is currently serving a life sentence in France for the murder of a PFLP (Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine) double agent and two French policemen, Carlos is back in the news this week with the revelation that he is to stand trial again, this time accused of taking part in a series of Paris bomb attacks in the early ‘80s that killed eleven people.
Carlos had strong links with Price of Kings contributor Bassam Abu Sharif – they first met when the Venezuelan-born insurgent walked in to Sharif’s office asking to join the resistance.
It was unanimously agreed by the Price of Kings team that Sharif gave one of the most captivating interviews of the series so far. Talking with the man who masterminded the Dawson’s Field hijackings, one of the most infamous events in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was always going to be an eye opening experience. Indeed, the cameras were still rolling five hours after we sat down.
Aside from his wealth of information about Yasser Arafat, stemming from his prominence in the PFLP and his later role as Arafat’s advisor, Sharif also had many other fascinating stories to share.
While Sharif's stories are entirely incidental to the film we were making on Yasser Arafat, they still make for a beguiling insight in to what has been, for better or worse, an extraordinary life. A number of these stories centered on Sharif’s relationship with Carlos the Jackal. With Carlos once again making headlines around the world, we thought it’d be a great time to share a few snippets.
In this first excerpt, Sharif details his first meeting with Carlos in 1970. Notice how Sharif uses his own nickname for the Venezuelan – ‘Salim’.
The next account plays out like something lifted straight from a Bond film; Carlos was sent to Paris on the orders of the PFLP, where he was left to await his orders in a hotel room. Check out the footage to find out what unfolded next.
Whichever side you take on the man’s politics, it was stories like these ones that made Bassam Abu Sharif such an enthralling interview for the Price of Kings team.