Urban guerrilla "Carlos the Jackal" smiled and flashed a clenched fist salute yesterday as he went on trial for deadly Paris bomb attacks he is accused of mounting at the height of his "anti-imperialist campaign" in the 1970s and 1980s.
"I am a revolutionary by profession," Ilich Ramirez Sanchez declared to a special terrorism court of judges, his bluster undiminished by two decades spent in French prisons since his 1994 capture in Khartoum by French special forces.
Ramirez is now 62, sports a grey beard and has a paunch; but over some 30 years, he was the face of militant Marxist struggle.
For his small coterie of admirers, some of whom were in court, he was a romantic anti-imperialist fighter; for others a cold-blooded killer.
Ramirez, dressed in a casual blue jacket and blue sweater, sat in a glass box guarded by three police officers.
He faces a second term of life in prison if convicted. REUTERS