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Fatah Revolutionary Council - Abu Nidal Organization


The Fatah Revolutionary Council, also known as the Abu Nidal Organization, was formed in 1974 after Abu Nidal decided to break away from Fatah controlled by Yasser Arafat. As a member of the original Fatah, Abu Nidal was the apppointed leader of operations in Iraq, but in October 1973, Fatah sentenced Nidal to death for misue of authority and for attempting to kill Arafat. Nidal opposed political negotiations with Israel and in response to Iraq's influence, he began conducting independent operations to support the Iraqi regime.

The Fatah Revolutionary Council is considered one of the most radical organizations due to its frequent operations in a number of Middle Eastern countries, which have included attacks on other Palestinian organizations deemed to be too soft towards Israel. The organization has not claimed responsibility for any major attacks in the last decade, but it has reportedly formed some ties to the government of Iran.

After the organization moved to Baghdad to Syria and finally settled in Libya, it began recruiting young Arab men from refugee camps in Southern Lebanon. In 1989, Atef Abu Baker and Abdel Rahman Issa accused Abu Nidal of killing over 100 organization militants out of fear of internal dissidence, but Nidal was able to maintain control. Not longer after, Nidal made an attempt to reunite his organization with Fatah under Arafat, but reunification did not succeed.


Around 400 members, plus some Lebanon militia.


Abu Nidal's organization had its original headquarters in Baghdad, but after a struggle arose between Nidal and Iraqi leaders, Nidal moved the headquarters to Syria in the early 1980s. In 1985, The Fatah Revolutionary Council moved to Libya, where it has remained.


Abu Nidal, also known as Sabri al-Bana was the founder of the Fatah Revolutionary Council and has been its primary moving force since its formation in 1974. Born in 1939, he lived with his family in Saudia Arabia after the Six Day War and joined Fatah in Egypt in 1969. As leader of Fatah operations in Iraqi, Nidal gathered a loyal following that formed the basis of his organization after he broke away from Arafat in 1974.

In 1999, Abu Nidal reportedly returned to Iraq using a forged passport from Yemen. In August 2002, the Iraqi government claimed that Abu Nidal committed suicide when officers came to arrest him, but many speculated that Saddam Hussein had Nidal killed in order to gain favor with Yasser Arafat.


The Fatah Revolutionary Council has carried out dozens of bombings and assasinations during its thirty year existence. Organization members have assasinated several PLO leaders as well as diplomats from England, Jordan, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:40:25 ZULU