In the previous post we discused who Abu Nidal was. In the early eighties he was the premier terrorist in the world. Imad Mugniyah was hardly a household name . The terrorist challenged to a show down by Col North was Abu Nidal.
The best book on the build up to the War is Yossef Bodansky's The Secret History of the Iraq War. Much of the build up to the War is spoken of by Liberals in slogans. The roles of Russia, Arafat and much more is contained in the book.
The opportunity to learn the truth about Abu Nidal's death may come at the trial of Saddam. However , the scope of the massacres and other crimes may leave this mysterious act unexplored.
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" Abu Nidal had been one of the worlds most brutal terrorist leaders since rising to
prominence in the 60's. His people were involved in not only countless assasinations and bombings ,but also in comprehensive support opperations for diverse terrorists around the world from Latin America to Northern Ireland to Japan. He was the mastermind of some of the worlds most lethal terrorist strikes in history and his organization was responsible for the death of hundreds of civilians around the world.
Over the years Abu Nidal closely cooperated with any number of intelligence agencies including those of the Soviet Union,Romania , North Korea , Pakistan , Libya , Egypt and Iraq. But in 08/2002 the 65 year old murderer was infirm, bound to a wheelchair by heart disease and cancer.There seemed to be no logic to Baghdad's decision to assasinate Abu Nidal at the height of its crisis with America;at the ver least the assasination reminded friends and foes alike of the shelter and sponsorship the Iraqi government provided to the worlds elite terrorist.
Like all aspects of the Iraq war the undercurrents surrounding the assasination are more important than the action itself. And like many other facets of this crisis they still leave more questions than answers .Quite simply Saddan Hussein , who personally authorized the assasination of a longtime personal friend had little reason to do so. The act was merely an attempt to please two close allies Yasser Arafat and Hosni Mubarak , who were desperate to ensure that American forces entering
Baghdad would not be able to interrogate Abu Nidal.
Mubarak was anxious to conceal the fact that durring the late 90's Egyptian Intelligence used Abu Nidal's name to run a series of assasinations against Egyptian
Al-Queda elements. Posing as Abu Nidal terrorists ,Egyptians intelligence operatives ruthlessly destroyed Brittish and other intelligence networks in their way. They killed Egyptian Islamisists Cairo knew to be spying for some of Egypt's closest allies and benefactors. At the same time Egyptian intelligence was recieving comprehensive assistance from the CIA . Egypt had sworn it was not involved in these black operations,since the US considered them illegal and the CIA is not permited to cooperate with any country performing them even indirectly. Egypt also adamantly denied that Abu Nidal was being sheltered in Cairo at the time, although he was receiving his medical care in return for his cooperation with Egyptian intelligence.
Arafat was desperate to conceal the long term cooperation between his Fatah movement and Abu Nidal's Black June organization. Ion Pacepa the former cheif of Romanian intelligence disclosed in the late 70's Hanni al Hassan one of Arafats closest confidants took over Abu Nidal's Black June organization so that Arafat could have the last word in setting terrorist priorities while enhancing his own image as a moderate. Arafat was anxious to hide his terrorist connections and maintain the charade he was a peacemaker. Desperate to distance himself and the P.A. from the specter of terrorism ( and thus exempt himself from the war on terror) Arafat could not allow Abu Nidal to reveal their quarter century of close cooperation ,durring which Arafat was actualy the dominant partner.
But there was a darker facet to the Abu Nidal story. In the weeks prior to the assasination Iraqi intelligence recieved warnings from the intelligence services of several of the Gulf states that Abu Nidal was trying to reac an agreement with Britian's Secret intelligence services SIS ,which the Arab world respects and dreads more then the CIA. Unhappy with the medical treatments he was recieving in Baghdad,Abu Nidal offered to divulge secrets in exchange for superior medical treatment in England . When London was cool to the original offer, Abu Nidal professed that he could provide the latest information about Iraqi cooperation with international terrorism generally and Al Queda in particular.
Iraqi intelligence was reluctant to accept these reports because it knew the ailing Abu Nidal had few aides left,and that most of these were working for Iraqi intelligence .After extended consideration, Saddam and the Mukhabarrat high command concluded that the warnings had been a crude effort by the CIA and SIS a sting aimed to manipulate Baghdad into exposing its growing cooperation with Bin Ladden giving the administration an excuse to strike. The Iraqis it turns out were correct the SIS was indeed trying to provoking the Iraqis into into reckless actions using its allies in the Gulf States as conduits for the flow of chicken feed to Baghdad.
The assasination destroyed all remaining hopes in Washington and London for extracting information from Abu Nidal Baghdad further capitalized on the event by delivering a message to Western Intelligence services. On 08/21 Mukhabarat chief Taher Habush appeared in a rare press conferenceshowing grainy pictures of a blasted and thoroughly badaged body he claimed was Abu Nidal. Habush admitted that the longtime terrorist had been hiding in Baghdad, but alarmed at his recent discovery by police had commited suicide rather then face Iraqi authorities.
On its own the Abu Nidal assasination would have been a negligable episode ,lost in the flurry of activity as the American invasion neared. After the fall of Baghdad, though Brittish intelligence investigators searching through a devestated Mukhabarat building stumbled onto parts of a file containing information on Abu Nidal. The key doccument in the file was an Iraqi analysis of a Russian doccument delivered to Saddam on behalf of Putin in the summer of 2002. According to the Iraqi doccuments
the Russians had warned Hussein that Abu Nidal had sent emissaries to the Gulf states to negotiate a deal with the CIA planning to betray Saddams secrets in return for American shelter and medical care."
Maybe we will learn more in the trial of Saddam. However from reading both pieces the slogan sayers should learn that terrorists work with each other and rouge states.