Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 - Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)

aka ANO; Arab Revolutionary Brigades; Arab Revolutionary Council; Black September; Fatah Revolutionary Council; Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims

Description: The Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 8, 1997. The group was formed by Sabri al-Banna (aka Abu Nidal) in 1974 after splitting from the Palestine Liberation Organization. In August 2002, Nidal died in Baghdad. Leadership of the organization after Nidal's death remains unclear. The ANO has advocated for the elimination of Israel and sought to derail diplomatic efforts in support of the Middle East peace process.

Activities: The ANO has carried out terrorist attacks in 20 countries, killing or injuring almost 900 people. It has not staged a major attack against Western targets since the late 1980s and was expelled from its safe haven in Libya in 1999. Major attacks include those on the Rome and Vienna airports in 1985, the 1986 attack on the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul, the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi in 1986, and the 1988 attack on the City of Poros day-excursion ship in Greece. The ANO was suspected of assassinating PLO Deputy Chief Abu Iyad and PLO Security Chief Abu Hul in Tunis in 1991, and a senior Jordanian diplomat in Beirut in 1994. In 2008, a Jordanian official apprehended an ANO member planning to carry out attacks in Jordan. The ANO has been dormant since 2014.

Strength: Unknown

Location/Area of Operation: ANO associates may still exist in Lebanon, although they are likely inactive.

Funding and External Aid: Unknown


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