PARIS (AP) _ Imprisoned terrorist Carlos the Jackal has praised the U.S. terror attacks in a newspaper interview, prompting an inquiry by the Paris prosecutor's office.

Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, told the France Soir newspaper that he felt ``relief'' on learning of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Ramirez is serving a life sentence in France for three murders and is under investigation in three terrorist attacks in the 1980s. He was arrested in Khartoum, Sudan in 1994.

The prosecutor's office said it wanted to look into how the interview was carried out and whether the remarks might constitute a ``justification of terrorism'' _ a crime in France, judicial officials said Thursday.

Ramirez also said that after the 1991 Gulf War, he and ``other anti-imperialist leaders, of diverse ideologies, had approved the idea of air hits on the same enemy targets in Washington and New York.''

But Ramirez said in the interview, published Tuesday, that he had never had links with Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the attacks. He said he merely had ``strategic points of agreement'' with bin Laden's movement.

Ramirez gained international notoriety during the Cold War for staging a string of deadly bombings, assassinations and hostage seizures.

The Venezuelan-born Ramirez was sentenced to life in prison in 1997 by a Paris court for the 1975 murders of two French secret agents and an alleged informer.

Ramirez testified last year in a French court that he led the 1975 attack on OPEC headquarters in Vienna that left three people dead.

The terrorist, who says he has killed 83 people, has also been linked to the 1976 hijacking of an Air France jet to Entebbe, Uganda.