The Face of Terrorism, Then and Now
Bassam Abu-Sharif, a Palestinian born in Jerusalem in 1946, was dubbed "the face of terror" by Time magazine because of his role in the multiple hijacking, and then spectacular demolition, of Pan Am, Swissair and TWA aircraft in the Jordanian desert in 1970. He also recruited the terrorist "Carlos the Jackal" to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which pioneered the hijacking of airlines as a new form of terrorism.
Bassam Abu-Sharif was nearly killed in his Beirut office in 1972 by a letter bomb planted by Mossad (the Israeli intelligence agency), whose director at the time, Gen. Zvi Zamir, considered Abu-Sharif "one of the biggest and most dangerous hawks" Israel faced. Later, Abu-Sharif rejected political violence and played a central role in drafting Yasser Arafat's statement renouncing terrorism and recognizing Israel at the UN General Assembly meeting in Geneva in 1988.
Last year, he co-authored a book with a former Israeli intelligence officer title Best of Enemies (Little Brown & Co). Bassam Abu-Sharif was interviewed by ABC's John Cooley in Amman, Jordan for NPQ's weekly column for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Global Viewpoint.