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Tracking the Jackal: The Search for Carlos, the World's Most Wanted Man

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9780679425595: Tracking the Jackal: The Search for Carlos, the World's Most Wanted Man
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The author describes his ten-year search for Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, also known as Carlos the Jackal, recounting how he followed Sanchez through the world of spies and intelligence officers and dealt with the likes of Qaddafi, Arafat, and Nidal

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In the 1970s and '80s, one name dominated the dark world of international terrorism as the world's most wanted criminal: Carlos, a.k.a. The Jackal. Branded as an evil mastermind, he was said to have plotted an incredible 20-year spree of assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings, earning him a deadly reputation of near-mythic proportions. Could these heinous crimes really be the work of one man, or was Carlos a figment of some intelligence officer's imagination? The truth, as David Yallop found after a decade of research and a series of unprecedented interviews with the legendary killer, is a little of both.

I do not intend to hide anything from you, but you must understand that you may ask me questions that I cannot answer for a number of reasons.... To place my story in your hands is not much. You are placing your life in mine.

Weighing his own findings against the claims of Carlos himself, Yallop attempts to sort fact from fiction, information from misinformation, truth from lies. The knowledge that the Jackal has been captured since these interviews were held takes some of the bite out of the story. But Yallop's investigation into this shadowy world moves like a Hollywood thriller--only it's far more disturbing because the cast of players and the blood on their hands are real. --George Laney

From Kirkus Reviews:

Attention must be paid a journalist who expresses formal gratitude to, among others, Yasser Arafat, Caroline Kennedy, Abu Nidal, Muammar al-Qaddafi, Yitzhak Shamir, and Bruce Springsteen for their help in his ten-year quest to get the lowdown on Carlos- -arguably the world's highest-profile terrorist. Here, Yallop (Deliver Us from Evil, 1982, etc.) offers an absorbing narrative of his inquiry, which sets the record plausibly straight on the outlaw dubbed ``the Jackal.'' The Venezuelan-born Carlos (n‚ Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) is alive and well in Damascus, according to Yallop, who recounts two interviews he was granted with the globe's most wanted man. In Yallop's view, Syria has given Carlos a safe haven for reasons having as much to do with his useful notoriety as with murky Middle Eastern politics and the factionalism of Palestinian liberation movements. By his own account, the terrorist is a bit of a klutz whose deeds seldom match his reputation. Trained by the PLO, he's portrayed as being, at the height of his infamy, little more than a reckless hired gun for Wadi Haddad's Popular Front; had he not gained propaganda value, Carlos's lack of discipline and dedication likely would have landed him in an early grave. Moreover, Yallop reveals that while Carlos led the bloody 1975 assault that held OPEC ministers hostage, he didn't participate in many other violent acts for which he's been blamed. Throughout, the author does a credible job of unraveling the tangled webs that link dissident as well as revolutionary organizations with the governments and police forces charged with bringing them to book, and he offers convincing evidence of the complicity, negligence, and jurisdictional conflicts that repeatedly have allowed Carlos to evade capture. If Yallop crows a bit about uncovering information missed, misunderstood, or distorted by law-enforcement and the fourth estate, that's the price of admission to an engrossing guided tour of a netherworld familiar largely to a troubled time's lost souls. (Photos--not seen) -- Copyright 1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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