Social Revolutionary Groups

Social Revolutionary Groups - Social Revolutionary Groups...

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Social Revolutionary Groups Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) (aka Fatah—The Revolutionary Council, Black June Organization, Arab Revolutionary Brigades, Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims) Group Profile 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 98 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
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terrorism, ANO members may have a very conservative appearance. Robert Hitchens, a British journalist and reportedly one of the few foreigners to have met Abu Nidal, was highly impressed by the cleanliness of Abu Nidal’s headquarters in Baghdad, and by the “immaculate dress of his men,” who were “all cleanshaven and properly dressed,” as well as very polite. Recruiting is highly selective. In the early 1980s, members typically came from families or hometowns of earlier members in Lebanon, but by the mid-1980s the ANO began to increase recruitment by drawing from refugee camps. Graduates of the first training program would be driven to southern Lebanon, where they would undergo several weeks of military training. A few weeks later, they would be driven to Damascus airport, issued new code names, and flown to Tripoli, where they would be transferred to ANO training camps. In the mid-1980s, Abu Nidal continued to recruit from Arab students studying in
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Social Revolutionary Groups - Social Revolutionary Groups...

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