Communist Poland sheltered and armed Palestinian extremists in the 1980s, including the founder of Fatah-Revolutionary Council and terrorist mastermind Abu Nidal.
“They had dirty hands,” General Czeslaw Kiszczak, who served as interior minister in the 1980s, told Poland’s TVN commercial television station late on Monday..“We closed our eyes to the fact that they would come to Poland to rest and for medical attention after attacks and to train for new ones,” said Kiszczak, who was also the right hand of Poland’s then leader, General Wojciech Jaruzelski.
According to Kiszczak, Poland also sold them arms.
“It was in the Polish interest to sell them the largest possible quantity of arms,”
Kiszczak said in a TVN program focused on finding traces of Abu Nidal’s activities in Poland.
While he was wanted across the globe as the mastermind behind various attacks, Sabri al-Banna, known under the alias Abu Nidal, managed a company in Poland in the 1980s identified as SAS by the TVN report.
Abu Nidal died in Iraq in August 2002.
Part of the secular, left-wing, Palestinian rejectionist front, so called because they reject proposals for a peaceful settlement with Israel, the ANO was formed after a split in 1974 between Abu Nidal and Yasser Arafat‘s Fatah faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Setting himself up as a freelance contractor, Abu Nidal is believed to have ordered attacks in 20 countries, killing or injuring over 900 people. The group’s most notorious attacks were on the El Al ticket counters at Rome and Vienna airports in December 1985, when Arab gunmen high on amphetamines opened fire on passengers in simultaneous shootings, killing 18 and wounding 120. Patrick Seale, Abu Nidal’s biographer, wrote of the attacks that their “random cruelty marked them as typical Abu Nidal operations”.
Abu Nidal died of between one and four gunshot wounds in Baghdad in August 2002. Palestinian sources believe he was killed on the orders of Saddam Hussein, but the Iraqi government insisted he had committed suicide. The Guardian wrote on the news of his death: “He was the patriot turned psychopath. He served only himself, only the warped personal drives that pushed him into hideous crime. He was the ultimate mercenary.”In October 2008, a report from the former Iraqi “Special Intelligence Unit M4” was obtained by Robert Fisk, indicating that the Iraqis had been interrogating Abu Nidal as a suspected spy for Kuwait and Egypt, and indirectly for the U.S.; the documents say he had been asked by the Kuwaitis to find links between Saddam and Al-Qaeda. It was shortly after the first series of interrogations, and just before he was to be moved to a more secure location, that he shot himself, the report says.According to the Iraqi report, he was buried on August 29, 2002 in al-Karakh’s Islamic cemetery in Baghdad, in a grave marked only “M7”.