|Biographical detail : ||A Palestinian revolutionary patriot. Abu Nidal (father of the struggle) was the nom de guerre of Sabri Khalil al-Banna.
In 1960 he joined Arafat’s liberation movement and rose rapidly – he was methodical, orderly and hard working – in the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). In the mid-1970s, when PLO had decided to try to establish a “fighting national authority” in any part of the liberated homeland as a “stage” to the recovery of Palestine as a whole, Abu Nidal viewed this as a move away from the ideology of “total liberation”, and towards some sort of accommodation with Israel. The differences between him and the PLO widened to a degree of violence and it finally led him to fell out.
In 1982 Abu Nidal moved to Damascus. He made efforts to join forces with an array of dissidents from the PLO that were striving to prise the movement from Arafat’s grip. He formed his small group of followers into the Fatah Revolutionary Council. His operations were now directed against Arafat and the “capitulationists,” as well. He reported to have rarely stayed for long in any country, and never slept twice in the same bed, something that added to his aura, as once again the gossip was of his presence here, there and everywhere.
Abu Nidal, chain-smoking and former schoolteacher, whom the USA used to call “the most dangerous terrorist in the world,” reportedly arrived in Baghdad in 2000 and stayed until his death. It is unclear whether Abu Nidal was murdered by a gunman in Baghdad or took his own life because he had cancer. Some believe he was in the pay of Israel, so routinely did his useless violence appear to besmirch Palestinian signs of moderation, particularly during the 1970s.
Sabri Khalil al-Banna was born to a wealthy Palestinian family in the Mediterranean port town of Jaffa. The family fled in the 1948 war that saw the forced-establishment of Israel on the land lost by most of the Arabs. Like thousands of his kin, he became a refugee in Nabulus. His childhood was haunted not just by the loss of country, but by individual memories of the ethnic cleansing that had brought it about, the purposeful terror, killing, expulsion from home and property, panic flight, and subsequent misery and destitution of refugee camps. Sabri grew up a very angry man and like so many young men was drawn into Palestinian struggle against the encroaching enemy.