THE CARLOS COMPLEX: A Study in Terror by Christopher & Ronald Payne Dobson


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The lethal, tubby personage of ""Carlos Martinez,"" most feared of international terrorists, has already been meticulously etched by Colin Smith (Carlos, p. 148). Dobson and Payne, two British journalists, are more glib. As a result, Carlos takes on aspects of an evil Third World James Bond. From Paris or London headquarters, he plans his death raids, dispatching a Yugoslav consul here, a Latin American colonel there; women adore him, and he uses them for ""safe houses"" as he moves on to mastermind the OPEC attack in Vienna and the Entebbe raid. Dobson and Payne are not much concerned with Carlos' putative KGB affiliations; they see him as the lynchpin in an international ""pool of mercenaries,"" a veritable knighterrant of the forces of darkness. Like Smith, they follow Carlos' tangled relations with Japanese and German terrorists; also, and more interestingly, they finger Libya's Colonel Qaddafi as the ""paymaster"" for the hit men--claiming among other things, that Carlos was entrusted with foiling Kissinger's Middle East settlement. Ranging farther afield, the authors suggest that the tactics of terrorism were developed in Latin America (Cuba, Guatemala); the new breed, however, is the transnational entrepreneur--terror is the commodity in which men like Carlos deal. Despite obvious immersion in their subject matter, Dobson and Payne rely a great deal on secret sources and--necessarily--on much circumstantial evidence. A final chapter borrowing from Lenin's ""What Is To Be Done?"" raises the prospect (credited to Daniel Moynihan) of creating an organization to fight the ""First Internationale of Terrorism""; the language is that of an anti-insurgency textbook, and such a solution may provoke more anxieties than it allays.

Pub Date: June 13th, 1977
Publisher: Putnam