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Infamous Terrorist Charged in 1974 Paris Cafe Grenade Bombing

February 22, 1996

PARIS (AP) _ Carlos the Jackal, the infamous outlaw jailed here for an international string of bombings and hijackings, has been charged in a 1974 grenade attack at a Paris cafe.

The Paris prosecutor’s anti-terrorism unit confirmed Thursday that Carlos was placed under formal investigation Wednesday for his alleged role in the explosion, which killed two people and wounded 34 others on Sept. 15, 1974.

Carlos has long been a suspect in the attack at the crowded Drugstore cafe on Paris’ bustling Boulevard Saint-Germain.

Judicial sources said Thursday that he faces charges of assassination, attempted assassination, and destruction with explosives and other weapons.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the cafe attack. Investigators believe the Syria-based group hired Carlos as a freelance terrorist to carry it out.

In a brief statement, Carlos’ lawyers denounced the charges as being too old. Yet France has no statute of limitations for criminal offenses.

The 45-year-old Venezuelan-born convict, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was arrested on Aug. 14, 1994, in Sudan and taken in chains to Paris. He has been been held at a maximum-security prison in solitary confinement.

By his own count, the global gun-for-hire has killed 83 people in a spree of bombings, hijackings and assassinations.

In 1992, France convicted and sentenced Carlos in absentia to life in prison for the killing of two French counterintelligence agents in 1975. By law, France must retry him now that he’s in custody, but a trial date has not been set.

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