Social Revolutionary Groups
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
(aka Fatah—The Revolutionary Council, Black June Organization, Arab
Revolutionary Brigades, Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims)
Since 1974 the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) is said to have killed more than
300 people and wounded more than 650 in 20 countries. In recent years,
however, as Abu Nidal has become little more than a symbolic head of the ANO,
the ANO appears to have passed into near irrelevance as a terrorist organization.
By mid-1984 the ANO had about 500 members. A highly secretive, mercenary,
and vengeful group, ANO has carried out actions under various aliases on several
continents on behalf of Middle East intelligence organizations, such as those of
Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Libya, as well as other terrorist groups, such as the Shi’ites
in southern Lebanon. For many of its attacks, the ANO has used its trademark
Polish W.Z.63 submachine gun. Relying primarily on highly motivated young
Palestinian students, Abu Nidal has run a highly disciplined and professional
organization, but one held together by terror; many members have been accused
of treason, deviation, or desertion and eliminated.
For Abu Nidal, the enemy camp comprises everyone who opposes the forceful
liberation of Palestine. Together with Zionism and imperialism, a special place in
this pantheon is occupied by those in the Arab world supporting the political
process, whether Arab regimes or Arafat’s PLO. Abu Nidal’s Fath (Revolutionary
Council) sees itself as the true heir of the authentic Fath, which must be saved
from the “founding fathers” (Arafat and his cohorts) who betrayed its heritage.
Abu Nidal’s Fath represents a model of secular Palestinian fundamentalism,
whose sacred goal is the liberation of Palestine.
In 1976-78 Abu Nidal began to establish a corps of dormant agents by forcing
young Palestinian students on scholarships in Europe to become his agents. After
a short training period in Libya, Iraq, or Syria, they were sent abroad to remain as
dormant agents for activation when needed. Despite the ruthlessness of ANO