The man Carlos called Master

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

CARLOS the Jackal, a figure as dated in the Middle East as Woodstock is in America, was a music-loving reader of Marxist literature who admired his commander in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine even more than he did Che Guevara.

According to one of his personal friends an Arab writer whom Carlos asked to write his biography at the heyday of his brutal career Ilich Ramirez Sanchez worshipped the notorious Wadi Haddad. Both were expelled from the PFLP's lethal 'external affairs' department.

'Carlos always thought in a communist way,' the writer said yesterday, insisting on anonymity to protect him from the gunmen who fired a bullet into his head in 1980 in a vain attempt to murder him. 'He liked Guevara very much but he had more respect for Wadi Haddad. After he kidnapped the OPEC oil ministers in 1975, Carlos broke with Haddad. But he went on talking about him with great respect. He still regarded Haddad as his teacher up to the end. I heard him talking several times in English on the phone to Haddad. Carlos called him 'Master' when he addressed him.'

According to others in Carlos' circle not the Arab writer Haddad fired Carlos when the 'Jackal' failed to murder the two oil ministers whom he flew to Algiers on a hijacked plane from Vienna.

Haddad, who is believed to have died of cancer in 1978, had worked together with Carlos for five years on a series of bombings and hijackings. But Carlos' friend who now wants to publish the biography that Carlos requested says that the 'Jackal' expressed little remorse for innocent victims of his bombings, arguing that while he might be 'saddened' by such deaths, 'war doesn't happen without innocent people dying'.