Lebanese Anis Naccache, famous for his role in international terrorism in the 1970s, died in Damascus on Monday from covid-19 after being admitted to intensive care, according to the official Syrian news agency Sana. AFP, according to news.ro.
Presented by Sana as an “activist and political scientist,” Naccache is considered the right hand of Carlos the Jackal, a figure in international terrorism in the 1970s and 1980s who is serving a life sentence in France.
The pan-Arab news station Al-Mayadeen, where he was often received as a commentator, announced that his body would be transferred to Beirut on Tuesday for burial.
A former left-wing activist, who joined the Fatah Palestinian movement in Lebanon as a teenager, fought against Israeli forces in the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990).
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Together with Carlos, under his real name Illich Ramirez Sanchez, he took part in the 1975 hostage-taking of ministers from countries within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, planned by the Palestinian group “Black September”. In this operation, the command killed three people before taking 70 hostages, including 11 ministers.
Anis Naccache was sentenced in 1980 to life in prison following a failed assassination attempt near Paris by Shapur Bakhtiar, Iran’s last Shah prime minister. Two Frenchmen, including a policeman, were killed in the attack.
Naccache, whose case was at the center of a conflict between Paris and Tehran for ten years, was pardoned in 1990 by President François Mitterrand and deported to Iran.
In recent years, he has been regularly invited as a commentator on pro-Iranian television, such as the Al-Manar station of the Lebanese Shiite Hazbollah movement or the Al-Mayadeen station.
Known for his support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Naccache “played an important role in coordinating the leadership of the Palestinian Revolution and the Islamic Revolution in Iran until the mid-1990s,” Sana said.
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