Tuesday, 20 August 2002

Gun for hire who has already died at least twice

by Robert Fisk

He has died again. This time, Abu Nidal has killed himself. Ten years ago, he died of cancer. Before that, he was shot to death in Libya. Sabri al-Banna, among the most vicious criminals of the Middle East, seems to go on being reincarnated for the benefit of dying all over again. Now it's by his own hand, of gunshot wounds in Baghdad.

All things to all men, I suppose it's inevitable that he would have to die in every way. He worked for the Iraqi secret service and the Libyan secret service and, briefly it seems, for the Syrian secret service. Patrick Seale, the only writer to attempt a serious biography, claimed he also worked for Mossad, Israel's equally incompetent intelligence service. Abu Nidal was the beast before the beast before Osama bin Laden.

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