Al Arabiya show reveals how Abu Nidal blew up a Gulf plane in UAE skies

All details on Al Arabiya News Channel’s show, “Political Memoirs” with Taher Baraka

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In the third episode of a series with former Palestinian ambassador Atif Abu Bakr, he explains the reasons of Sabri al-Banna’s, aka Abu Nidal, defection from the Fatah movement.

He also reveals the operations which Abu Nidal carried out for the interest of the Libyan and Iraqi and other regimes and for his personal reasons – such as blowing up a Gulf air plane in 1983 that killed 111 people after taking off from Abu Dhabi.

During the previous and coming series with Al Arabiya, He continues revealing many secrets such as the 1974 kidnapping of staff from Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil giant Aramco by a Palestinian militant group, and an attempt to kill Abu Mazen - better known as the current Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - during his apprearance with Al Arabiya News Channel’s show, “Political Memoirs.”

Four decades ago, Abu Nidal, Palestinian group led by and named after its leader, Sabri al-Banna, plotted to assassinate Abbas, who was then serving as a top official for the Fatah movement.

Their motivation appeared to be simple: Abbas – as they claimed – was in contact with the Israeli side. But as the former director of the political department of Fatah Movement’s revolutionary council, Atef Abu Bakr reveals, the plot to kill Abbas stemmed from a long standing enmity between the two leaders.

In September 1970, a variety of Palestinian groups, who all hoped to create an independent homeland, went to meet with the-then President Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr. However, they were met with a frosty reception from the Iraqi leader, who told them: “The Palestinian revolution is a cat with seven souls.”

Instead of standing by his comrades, Banna started to defend al-Bakr’s opinion. After leaving the meeting, a furious Abbas slammed Banna, and referred to him as an “agent.”

According to Atef Abu Bakr, this incident - which Banna found humiliating - was “the reason why Abbas’ name was integrated in the list of persons to be assassinated.”

Recalling events in December 1973 a year earlier, Abu Bakr discussed the circumstances behind the abduction of employees from Saudi’s oil firm Aramco. In alliance with followers of another Palestinian leader, Ahmad Abd al-Ghafur, his group detained an American airliner in Rome’s airport which was heading to the Saudi city of Dhahran. The plane then flew to Kuwait, where the hostages were released.

The attack, which began when the militants pulled out their weapons in the terminal, had killed 29 - including four Moroccan ministers.

“Political memoirs” is broadcasted every Friday on Al Arabiya and presented by Taher Barake.

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