Dapper Venezuelan militant Carlos the Jackal goes on trial in a Paris court today charged with four deadly bombings carried out almost 30 years ago as extreme-left wing attacks ravaged Europe.
The Marxist-Leninist radical, 62, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, is already serving a life sentence in France for the murder of two French policemen and an informant in 1975.
Carlos, born in 1949, rose to prominence in 1975 when his commando group burst into the conference room where ministers from the OPEC oil cartel were meeting in Vienna, taking 11 of them hostage.
He is now on trial for 1982 and 1983 attacks billed as part of a private war Carlos waged against France to free two comrades, including his future wife, who were arrested in Paris while planning to attack the Kuwaiti embassy.
The first bombing on March 29, 1982, aboard the Le Capitole express train running from Paris to the southern city of Toulouse, killed five people and wounded 28.
The attack was followed by another on April 22, 1982: The car bombing in Paris of the anti-Syrian newspaper Al-Watan Al-Arabi that killed a passerby and wounded 60.
The trial, ordered by controversial anti-terrorism judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere, will be presided over by judge Laurent Olivier and is set to last until Dec. 16.