William Waugh, the veteran CIA operative known for tracking down the infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackal, died on April 4 at the age of 93, the Washington Post reported.
A decorated Special Forces veteran and CIA officer, Waugh’s five-decade career spans from fighting in Korea to hunting Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
In the early 1960s, Waugh helped train counterinsurgency units in South Vietnam and Laos to fight against the North Vietnamese.
In 1965, when US forces and local militias were sent to attack Bong Son in North Vietnam, Waugh’s team was confronted by over 4,000 North Vietnamese fighters. Running out of ammunition, Waugh was shot in the knee, foot, and ankle, then sustained a 2-inch gash on his forehead from another bullet. He was later awarded a Silver Star and Purple Heart for the action.
After leaving the Special Forces in 1972, Waugh briefly worked for the US Postal Service in Texas before being recruited by the CIA in 1977 to train Libyan commandos. He later spent over 20 years in prison for selling explosives to Libya before a federal judge overturned his conviction.
During one CIA surveillance mission in Khartoum, Waugh was tracking Venezuelan-born terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, also known as Carlos the Jackal. Jackel was blamed for a series of bombings, assassinations, and attacks, including a 1975 raid on OPEC headquarters. The Jackal was captured and sent to France to face trial.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Waugh worked alongside US forces in Afghanistan who were working with allies in Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance. He later joined the hunt for Osama bin Laden in the caves in the Tora Bora region.
Waugh was born in Bastrop, Texas on December 1, 1929. He enlisted in the Army after graduating high school in 1948. He later served in Korea before entering Special Forces training in 1954.