Carlos The Jackal Captured In Sudan -- Terrorism Suspect Is Linked To 1972 Munich Massacre, Other Attacks Over 2 Decades

PARIS - Carlos the Jackal, the most wanted terrorist of the past 20 years and a suspected planner of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, has been arrested in Sudan by French counterintelligence agents, authorities said. He was being extradited to France.

Sudan's interior minister, Al-Tayeb Ibrahim Mohamed Khier, said Carlos, 44, born Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was arrested in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, carrying a false diplomatic passport.

The French Interior Ministry said the Venezuelan terrorist was arrested by the DST, France's counterintelligence agency, but did not say where, when or under what circumstances.

Khier said in the statement that Carlos entered Sudan on a false diplomatic passport from an Arab country and was traveling with a group also carrying Arab passports.

It did not name the Arab countries involved, or say where the group came from before arriving at Khartoum airport.

Authorities had Carlos under surveillance because they doubted the validity of his passport and later learned his identity from France, Khier said.

The statement said Carlos was turned over to France after it informed Sudan that he was wanted by Interpol, the international police agency, on charges of killing two French citizens.

Carlos had been linked by Western police with some of the most notorious terrorist attacks of the 1970s and 1980s, including the 1976 hijacking of a jetliner to Entebbe, Uganda. But he had dropped out of sight in recent years and was believed to be living in Syria.

His capture has been announced many times before.

In 1981, Mexico City police claimed the world's attention for several hours by saying they'd captured Carlos. Their "Carlos" was finally presented to reporters and turned out to be a frightened armed robber with only a passing resemblance to the terrorist.

Carlos also was being sought by the German government in connection with the 1983 bombing of the Maison de France cultural center that left one dead. The chief prosecutor in Berlin, Dieter Neumann, said he was "very happy" to hear of Carlos' arrest.

"We've been trying for many years to get him," he said.