(VOA Editorial)  (360)

(Following is an editorial, broadcast by the Voice of America August 18,

reflecting the views of the U.S. government.)

This week, French authorities won a major victory in the war against

international terrorism with the arrest in Sudan of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez

-- alias Carlos.  One of the world's most wanted terrorists, Carlos will go

on trial for crimes committed in France.

Born in Venezuela, the son of a prominent Marxist lawyer, Carlos was named

Ilich after the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Ilich Lenin.  Drawn

by communist ideology, Carlos studied at Patrice Lumumba University in

Moscow.  In 1970, he was recruited by a Marxist Palestinian terrorist

group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or PFLP.  He was

trained in Lebanon under terrorist leader Wadi Haddad.

After Haddad's death in 1978, Carlos helped organize three terrorist groups

-- the PFLP Special Command, the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Faction, and

the 15 May Organization.  Around 1978, Carlos organized another terrorist

network -- the Organization of the Armed Arab Struggle.  Over the years,

Carlos lived in Syria and Libya, and received protection from several

Soviet-bloc governments.

Carlos is wanted for numerous terrorist attacks carried out in the 1970s and

1980s.  They include the wounding of a British millionaire in 1973; the

bombing of a Paris drugstore in 1974; the 1975 killing of two French

intelligence officers investigating Carlos's failed rocket attack on an El

Al plane at a Paris airport; a 1975 attack on OPEC headquarters in Vienna,

in which three people were killed and 11 oil ministers were taken hostage;

the 1982 bombing of a Paris passenger train that killed five people; and

railroad bombings around Marseilles that killed six people and wounded 80

in 1983.

Law enforcement authorities in many nations -- especially France -- were

relentless in their efforts to bring him to justice.  "We never gave up,"

said French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua.  The United States applauds

the government of France for its successful pursuit of one of the world's

most dangerous criminals.  The arrest of Carlos serves notice on all

international terrorists that their crimes will not go unpunished.