Al Arabiya reveals intellectuals drawn by Abu Nidal

Former Palestinian Ambassador Atif Abu Bakr reveals more secrets to Al Arabiya on militant leader Abu Nidal

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Former Palestinian Ambassador Atif Abu Bakr has revealed more information on Palestinian militant splinter group Fatah’s Revolutionary Council and its late leader Sabri al-Banna, better known as “Abu Nidal.”

In Al Arabiya News Channel’s show Political Memory, which airs on Friday, Abu Bakr recalls what he described as the “strange paradox” of relations between Arab intellectuals and Fatah’s Revolutionary Council.

Between 1974 and 1979, Abu Nidal was able to attract the attention of leading Arab intellectuals including Palestinian thinkers Naji Alloush and Munir Shafiq, and Lebanese politician Tawfiq Hindi.

But the intellectuals eventually left the group when a disagreement arose between Alloush and Abu Nidal and after the latter had started on the “assassinator’s path.”

Abu Bakr also revealed how Abu Nidal escaped Syria and how the “Syrians forced Abu Nidal out” after pressure from the U.S. government and other European states following a series of bombing attacks the group carried out in Karachi, Malta and Berlin.

Abu Bakr said that the group’s leader took such actions only after their leader had exhausted efforts in finding a way out of Syria, the country he and his group were based in.

Abu Nidal had also asked Abu Bakr for help in leaving Syria, threatening to bomb 10 airplanes at Damascus International Airport if he did not receive assistance to leave Syria.

The request left Abu Bakr puzzled, as both the Palestinian leadership and Abu Nidal were attempting to unify under the “Ring of Arab countries,” consisting of Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.

During previous episodes on Al Arabiya, Abu Bakr went into detail about several previous incident, such as the 1974 kidnapping of staff from Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil giant Aramco by the Palestinian militant group.

Four decades ago, the group had plotted to assassinate Abbas, who was then serving as a top official for the Fatah movement.