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, 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
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
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.