Terror groups are political, religious or ideological movements that resort to terror in order to achieve their goals. These are groups that use terror to manipulate and influence personal gain. Under normal acts of terror; intimidation, fear or coercion to the civilians are the main tools used by these terror groups. Abu Nidal is one of the many terror organizations based in the Palestine. Abu Nidal is the Arabic meaning of ‘father of the struggle.’ The terror group was named after its leader and founder Sabri al-Banna who was born in Palestine to a land owning family (White 20). Getting support from a number of Muslim countries including Syria and Libya, this group of international terrorists has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in the Western countries, Israel and Arab countries. This paper will discuss the origin and survival of this terror group through its years of active operations.
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This group had international targets but mostly their target over their years of operation was the Israelis (White 66). However, Palestinian Liberation Organization’s ‘PLO’ officials and government representatives were among those being targeted. Among the many goals of this terror organization, the greatest was to eliminate Israel form the map of the world. This group was in support of armed struggle against the Israelis and constantly and openly opposed any attempts for the Arab-Israel peace negotiations (White, 100). The Abu Nidal however was not operating alone on the terror activities but had state support from a few other countries as I mentioned earlier. Iraq, Syria and Libya provided funding support as well as training and logistical backing for the group. These countries also used the terror group for some of their internal military operations.
The Abu Nidal Organization was expelled in Iraq for a while when Saddam Hussein sought support from the American government when he was at war with his neighbour Iran. Later on when the war ended, Iraq resumed its support for the ANO. During the period when the Abu Nidal organization was expelled in Iraq, the terror group sought backing from Syria where they got support to enable them to continue with their terror activities. Working from Syria, the terror group worked hard to destabilize attempts to hold peace talks among Jordan, Israel and Palestinian liberation organization ‘PLO’ (White, 222). After sometime, the Syria government was under pressure from the American government to distance itself from terrorist and terror activities.
Due to the mounting pressure on the Syrian government, ANO was again expelled from Syria in 1987, but still needed a safe haven to continue its attacks (White, 441). This is where the Libyan government came in. It was not until in 1999 when the Libyan government kicked the ANO out for fear of facing international sanctions (White, 140). With the deteriorating States support relationship, the group was greatly destabilized and its operations significantly compromised. Today the group is greatly considered inactive with its operation location remaining unclear (White 158). Clearly lack of support greatly interfered with the group’s ability to continue with terror attacks. Nonetheless, the group is still considered as a terror group even in its in-operational state.
Terror and acts of terror have been in existence for a very long time and the devastating effects of these are still very fresh in the minds of the victims and their families. Being an informal way of expressing grievances, many lives have been lost and economic stability in many countries destroyed. Many countries in the Middle East have suffered by being economically destabilized as a result of terrorists’ activities. Acts of terror today are being executed and are even made easier by the technological advancement the world is experiencing today. Muslim countries were the main architects of terror but today terror gangs are recruiting even the non-Muslim communities in their terror organizations which make it even harder to contain its prevalence.
White, Jonathan Rendell. Terrorism and homeland security. Belmont: Wadsworth Pub Co. 2011. Print.