Ilich Ramírez Sánchez (born October 12, 1949 (1949-10-12) (age 58)) is a Venezuelan-born leftist revolutionary. After several bungled bombings, Ramírez Sánchez achieved notoriety for a 1975 raid on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna, resulting in the deaths of three people. For many years he was among the most wanted international fugitives. He is now serving a life sentence in Clairvaux Prison in northeast France.
He was given the nom de guerre Carlos when he became a member of the leftist Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Carlos was given the "Jackal" moniker by the press (The Guardian) when the Frederick Forsyth novel The Day of the Jackal was reportedly found among his belongings. Although the book actually belonged to someone else, the nickname stuck.
Carlos the Jackal is the main antagonist in the Bourne Trilogy.
Carlos the Jackal figures prominently in Robert Ludlum's Bourne Trilogy. In the Trilogy, Carlos is depicted as the world's most dangerous assassin whose trademark execution is a single well placed bullet in the throat, a man with international contacts that allow him to strike efficiently and anonymously at locations anywhere on the globe. His actual name (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) is used and details - a mixture of fact and fiction - are given about his upbringing and training, including the fictional account that he trained with Russian intelligence at Novgorod. In the Trilogy he keeps residence in France disguised as a priest, protected by a close network of contacts. In the Bourne Identity a relatively small amount is revealed about him but he factors prominently in the plot of the book because the title character, Jason Bourne, was an American black-ops officer whose mission was to usurp Carlos as the world's preeminent assassin in order to draw him out of hiding so that he could be killed or captured. During this book, it is "revealed" that Carlos in fact orchestrated the Kennedy assassination. In the second book, The Bourne Supremacy, Carlos is not a significant character and is understood to be in hiding. However, in The Bourne Ultimatum, the final book of the trilogy, Carlos and Bourne are pitted against each other again in which their feud finally end when The Jackal drowns in the river bordering the KGB traning facility which he was trying to blow up. Carlos the Jackal is not mentioned in the Bourne film adaptations that star Matt Damon, although The Guardian newspaper, credited with giving Carlos his "Jackal" moniker, is featured in The Bourne Ultimatum film.
In the 1988 film, the fight with Carlos ends differently in that Carlos is shot and killed by Bourne instead of escaping. Thus, the events of The Bourne Ultimatum do not take place in this film.