US embassy cable - 87AMMAN7695

SYRIAN RELATIONS WITH ABU NIDAL AND THE PLO

Identifier: 87AMMAN7695
Wikileaks: View 87AMMAN7695 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 1987-07-01 15:54:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PTER KPAL PLO JO SY
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 011554Z JUL 87
FM AMEMBASSY AMMAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2346
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY ALGIERS
AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
AMEMBASSY TUNIS
C O N F I D E N T I A L AMMAN 07695 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL:  OADR 
TAGS:  PREL, PTER, KPAL, PLO, JO, SY 
SUBJECT:  SYRIAN RELATIONS WITH ABU NIDAL AND THE PLO 
 
REF:  AMMAN 6461 
 
1.  (C - ENTIRE TEXT) 
 
 
2.  WE SPOKE ON JUNE 30 WITH JORDAN TIMES REPORTER 
LAMIS ANDONI (STRICTLY PROTECT), AUTHOR OF AN 
ARTICLE PRINTED ON JUNE 4 IN THE JORDAN TIMES 
THAT BROKE THE NEWS OF SYRIA'S CLOSURE OF THE 
DAMASCUS OFFICES OF THE ABU NIDAL ORGANIZATION. 
ANDONI IS ONE OF THE TOP ARAB REPORTERS OF 
PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS; SHE IS WELL CONNECTED WITH 
A WIDE RANGE OF SOURCES IN THE PALESTINIAN 
MOVEMENT, INCLUDING IN FATAH, THE PFLP, AND THE 
ABU NIDAL ORGANIZATION. 
 
 
3.  ANDONI PROVIDED THE FOLLOWING ADDITIONAL 
DETAILS ABOUT SYRIAN RELATIONS WITH THE ABU NIDAL 
ORGANIZATION: 
 
-  THE SOURCES FOR HER STORY IN THE JORDAN TIMES, 
LABELED IN THE ARTICLE AS "PALESTINIAN," INCLUDED 
MEMBERS OF FATAH, THE ABU NIDAL ORGANIZATION, AND 
"OTHERS" (WHICH WE ASSUME MEANS PFLP). 
 
-  THE ABU NIDAL SOURCES TOLD ANDONI THAT THEY 
REALIZED THEIR OFFICES IN DAMASCUS WERE UNDER 
SURVEILLANCE BY DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS THERE, 
SPECIFICALLY THE AMERICANS. 
 
-  FURTHERMORE, THE ABU NIDAL SOURCES SAID THAT 
THEY REALIZED DIPLOMATS IN SYRIA WOULD "DISBELIEVE" 
ACCOUNTS THAT SYRIA SEVERED ITS RELATIONSHIP 
WITH ABU NIDAL, BECAUSE OF THEIR PRESUMPTION THAT 
THE RELATIONSHIP WAS MORE  INTIMATE THAN IN FACT 
IT WAS. 
 
-  THE ABU NIDAL SOURCES INSIST THAT THE CUT IS 
REAL; ANDONI BELIEVES THAT THIS IS THE RESULT OF 
SYRIAN SPONSORED ATTACKS ON THE PALESTINIAN CAMPS 
IN LEBANON, WHICH ABU NIDAL JOINED IN DEFENDING, 
AND A FEELING BY THE ABU NIDAL RANK AND FILE THAT 
THE MOVEMENT SHOULD  BECOME CLOSER TO THE PLO AS 
A WHOLE. 
 
 
4.  ON SYRIAN RELATIONS WITH THE PLO, SPECIFICALLY 
FATAH, ANDONI SAID THAT RECENT SYRIAN-FATAH 
MEETINGS HAVE BEEN UNPRODUCTIVE.  SHE CONFIRMED 
THAT PLO "FOREIGN MINISTER"  QADDUMI HAD MET WITH 
SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SHARA' IN BRIONI IN EARLY 
JUNE, FOLLOWED BY MEETINGS BETWEEN FATAH SECURITY 
CHIEF ABU AL-HUL WITH TWO SENIOR SYRIAN INTELLIGENCE 
OFFICERS, MOHAMMAD NASSIF AND ADNAN RAM HAMDANI, 
IN CYPRUS.  THE  QADDUMI MEETING WITH SHARA' 
FOCUSED ON BROADER SYRIAN-PLO RELATIONS, WHILE 
THE INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS' MEETING FOCUSED ON 
LEBANON. 
 
 
5.  ANDONI PROVIDED A COUPLE OF BIOGRAPHIC DETAILS 
ON ABU NIDAL SPOKESMAN ATIF ABU BAKR.  ABU BAKR 
UNTIL NOVEMBER 1984 WAS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE 
PLO IN EASTERN EUROPE (SHE COULD NOT REMEMBER WHETHER 
IT WAS BELGRADE OR PRAGUE).  HE THEN DEFECTED TO 
THE ABU MUSA DISSIDENT ORGANIZATION AND IN EARLY 
1985 JOINED THE ABU NIDAL ORGANIZATION. 
 
 
6.  MINIMIZE CONSIDERED. 
 
BOEKER 

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