Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) is identified by the United States Department of State as an international terrorist organization led by Sabri al-Banna. Split from the Palestine Liberation Army (PLO) in 1974, the ANO is comprised of various functional committees, including political, military, and financial committees.
The Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) also operates as, or is known as; Fatah Revolutionary Council, Arab Revolutionary Brigades, Black September, and Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims.
Organization activities. The ANO has carried out terrorist attacks in 20 countries, killing or injuring almost 900 persons. Targets have included the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, moderate Palestinians, the PLO, and various Arab countries. Major attacks included the Rome and Vienna airports in December 1985, the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul, and the Pan Am Flight 73 hijacking in Karachi in September 1986, along with the City of Poros day-excursion ship attack in Greece in July, 1988. The ANO is suspected of assassinating PLO deputy chief Abu Iyad and PLO security chief Abu Hul in Tunis in January, 1991. ANO assassinated a Jordanian diplomat in Lebanon in January, 1994, and has been linked to the killing of the PLO representative there. As of May 2002, the ANO has not attacked Western targets since the late 1980s. ANO leader Abu Nidal was found dead in Baghdad, Iraq in August 2002. Following Nidal's death and subsequent disruption of ANO by Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, the fate of the organization remained uncertain.
Membership in the ANO is estimated at a few hundred plus a limited overseas support structure. Al-Banna relocated to Iraq in December 1998, where the group maintains a presence. ANO has had an operational presence in Lebanon including in several Palestinian refugee camps. Financial problems and internal disorganization have reduced the group's activities and capabilities. Authorities shut down the ANO's operations in Libya and Egypt in 1999. The ANO has demonstrated ability to operate over wide areas, including the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. They have also received considerable support, including safe haven, training, logistic assistance, and financial aid from Iraq, Libya, and Syria (until 1987), in addition to close support for selected operations.
█ FURTHER READING:
Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook, 2002. < http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/ > (April 16, 2003).
Taylor, Francis X. U.S. Department of State. Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001, Annual Report: On the record briefing. May 21, 2002 < http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/rm/10367.htm > (April 17, 2003).
U.S. Department of State. Annual reports. < http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/annual_reports.html > (April 16, 2003).