Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)

From: "Chapter 8; Foreign Terrorist Organizations," Country Reports on Terrorism 2005, US Department of State, April 30, 2006.

a.k.a. Arab Revolutionary Brigades; Arab Revolutionary Council; Black September; Fatah Revolutionary Council; Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims

The ANO international terrorist organization was founded by Sabri al-Banna (a.k.a. Abu Nidal) after splitting from the PLO in 1974. The group's previous known structure consisted of various functional committees, including political, military, and financial. In August 2002, Abu Nidal died in Baghdad; the new leadership of the organization remains unclear.

The ANO has carried out terrorist attacks in 20 countries, killing or injuring almost 900 persons. Targets 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 1985, the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul, the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi in 1986, and the City of Poros day-excursion ship attack in Greece in 1988. The ANO is suspected of assassinating PLO deputy chief Abu Iyad and PLO security chief Abu Hul in Tunis in 1991. The ANO assassinated a Jordanian diplomat in Lebanon in 1994 and was linked to the killing of the PLO representative there. The ANO has not staged a major attack against Western targets since the late 1980s.

Current strength and operational status are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Although former and possibly current ANO associates may be in Iraq and Lebanon, the group is largely considered inactive.

External Aid
The ANO received considerable support, including safe haven, training, logistical assistance, and funding from Iraq, Libya, and Syria (until 1987), in addition to close support for selected operations. The ANO's current access to resources is unclear, but it is likely severely impacted by the decline in state support.