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Synopsis

The biography of the 20th centurys most potent and ruthless terrorist, Carlos the Jackal, with exclusive revelations about his life, his missions, and his ultimate capture. On an August night in 1994 French counterespionage officers seized the world's most wanted terrorist from a villa in Sudan. After more than two decades on the run, Carlos "the Jackal" had finally been caged. For years he had murdered and bombed his way to notoriety, evading capture thanks to powerful backers and the blunders of Western secret services. Jackal is the definitive biography of this self-proclaimed "professional revolutionary," ladies' man, and cold-blooded killer. Setting his story against the larger political picture of the time, it exposes how the Soviet bloc and certain Arab regimes sponsored terrorist actions for their own ends during the cold war. The tale of Carlos's exploits, including his most daring coup--the kidnapping of eleven OPEC oil ministers in Vienna in 1975--crackles with suspence, deception, and violence to rival the best-selling fiction of Le Carré and Forsythe. Tracing Carlos's evolution from his childhood in Venezuela to London, Moscow, Paris, East Berlin, and the Middle East, Jackal uses previously untapped sources, including the archives of the East German secret police and the files of France's judicial investigations into Carlos's crimes, to tell his full story for the first time. Jackal reveals the web of intrigue, blackmail, and fear that guaranteed Carlos's survival, the helping hand of Colonel Qadhafi, and the true nature of the "Kremlin Connections." John Follain shows how the CIA and French intelligence issued their agents a license to kill in their efforts to stop Carlos; how his bravado, combined with events leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, forced him out of the Communist fold; and how betrayal and revenge sealed in a secret pact between France and his masters brought about his downfall. A cautionary tale of governments that fostered the image of an invincible criminal mastermind--who was in reality a pawn in the chilling cold war chess game between East and West--Jackal also provides fascinating insight into the making and mind of the world's most wanted terrorist.

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