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December 28, 2006
State Dept Confirms Arafat Masterminded Murder Of American Diplomats

A newly declassified report from 1973 shows that Yasser Arafat personally commanded the terrorist attack that resulted in the murders of Ambassador Cleo Noel and his deputy George Moore, as well as a Belgian diplomat. Moreover, the two murders appear to have been the entire point of Arafat's attack:

The Khartoum operation was planned and carried out with the full knowledge and personal approval of Yassir Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the head of Fatah. Fatah representatives based in Khartoum participated in the attack, using a Fatah vehicle to transport the terrorists to the Saudi Arabian embassy.

Initially, the main objective of the attack appeared to be to secure the release of the Fatah/BSO [Black September Organization] leader Muhammed Awadh (Abu Da'ud) from Jordanian captivity. Information acquired subsequently reveals that the Fatah/BSO leaders did not expect Awadh to be freed, and indicates that one of the primary goals of the operation was to strike at the United States because of its efforts to achieve a Middle East peace settlement which many Arabs believe would be inimical to Palestinian interests.

The State Department had proof all along that Yasser Arafat not only masterminded this attack, but deliberately plotted to kill American diplomats as a means to pressure the US out of the Middle East. In other words, the PLO/Fatah/BSO conducted a terrorist attack on American interests, murdered Americans, and got away with it. They sat on this information while the US insisted on negotiating with Arafat, even though many suspected he had planned the murders all along.

The State Department should have warned successive administrations from dealing with this terrorist and instead recommended that we capture him and try him for the murders of Noel and Moore. These men worked for the State Department themselves. I guess the lesson here is that State won't lift a finger to bring assassins of diplomats to justice, a lesson that current diplomats may want to consider now. (via It Shines For All)

UPDATE: Want to know what kind of man Yasser Arafat had murdered? Read Cheat Seeking Missiles for a first-person remembrance of Cleo Noel.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 28, 2006 7:07 AM

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