In a March 14, 2002 USA Today article (“Terrorist says orders come from Arafat”), Palestinian terrorists in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, as well as one of Arafat’s foreign media spokesmen, have confirmed that the terrorists are under the command of Arafat, and that most of them receive salaries from the Palestinian Authority. Please remind the media and the public of this connection.
Below are quotes that were included in the article confirming the essential link between Arafat and the terrorist group Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade that is part of his Fatah movement.
Maslama Thabet, leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Tulkarm, who was responsible for kidnapping and executing two Israeli restaurateurs who had stopped in Tulkarm for lunch “Our group is an integral part of Fatah.”
(Fatah, headed by Arafat, is the largest group in the Palestinian Authority, the government of the autonomous Palestinian territories.)
Maslama Thabet: “The truth is, we are Fatah itself, but we don’t operate under the name of Fatah. We are the armed wing of the organization. We receive our instructions from Fatah. Our commander is Yasser Arafat himself.”
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Arafat’s chief spokesman: “The president has nothing to do with these things, he has nothing to say about this issue.”
Mohammed Odwan, Arafat’s foreign media spokesman: “[The brigade] is loyal to President Arafat. They are working for the interests of the Palestinian people. They are fighting because they think these kind of operations —and I agree— will push forward their independence and their dream of freedom.”
Hussein A-Sheikh, a Fatah political leader in the West Bank (who appeared insulted when asked whether the brigade was under Arafat’s control): “Of course, there is control. What do you think? That we are just a bunch of gangs?”
The article also describes Palestinian Authority officials as verifying that most members of the brigade receive salaries from Arafat’s Palestinian Authority and points out how the Palestinian leadership has openly allied itself with a terrorist group.