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October 26, 1977

GDR Ministry for State Security, 'Note on Information about Increased Activities by Extremist Palestinian Groups'

This document was made possible with support from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

[GDR Ministry for State Security/MfS]

HV A/III/2 [translator’s note: the Main Department Foreign Intelligence]

Berlin, 26 October 1977

                                                                                                                        Highly confidential!

N o t e
on Information about Increased Activities by Extremist Palestinian Groups

1. Regarding this subject, the following has become known through reliable and competent operative connections in the leadership of the Palestinian resistance movement:

In recent years, the group around Wadie Haddad, which got excluded from the PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] in 1973, has developed into the spiritual and organizational leading center of such international terrorist organizations like the Japanese “Red Army”, the Italian “Bandiera Rossa” [“Red Brigades”] and the Baader-Meinhof successor organizations [Red Army Faction (RAF)]. With direct material and technical support from the Iraqi intelligence services, the group based in Baghdad was able to extend its influence on West European and Palestinian leftist extremist organizations like the “Palestinian Liberation Front” of Abu Abbas [Muhammad Zaidan, the founder Palestinian Liberation Front] and the Abu Nidal group, also in Baghdad.

2. With the goal of discrediting progressive elements of the Popular Front [PFLP], Western mass media are deliberately propagating the identity of the Haddad group with the PFLP. This is not corresponding to the facts.

For instance, recently leading functionaries from the PFLP warned the GDR security organs about known Palestinian terrorists traveling through the GDR via transit with destination Western Europe. They reviewed our transmitted vetting information of individuals and referred us to their dangerousness.

A member of the PFLP leadership, who had already provided substantial internal information to us in the past, reported on 24 October 1977:

Dr. [George] Habash, as well as the largest part of the PFLP leadership, are distancing themselves clearly from the terrorist acts of the Haddad group.

After phone threats against the Soviet Embassy in Beirut, the PFLP leadership did recognize the danger for the socialist states.

In Baghdad and Tripoli, the essential base locations of the Haddad group, the PFLP has opportunities to exert positive influence on the organization.

There are still relations existing between the PFLP and Wadie Haddad.

PFLP leadership members Abu Ali Mustafa and Bassam Abu Sharif are partially sympathizing with Haddad.

The financing of the mentioned terrorist organizations is in addition also provided by the LAR [Libyan Arab Republic] leadership, as well as gained through criminal actions in Western Europe.


Produced: 5 copies of 2 pages each


1st copy           Department VII

2nd copy         Head of Main Department XX

3rd copy          Department III/2

4th copy          Department IX/Comrade Colonel Schramm

5th copy          Deputy HV A, Comrade Colonel Geyer

East German intelligence report on relationships and splits within the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Document Information


BStU Zentralarchiv, MfS HA XX, Nr. 3890, 00042-43. Translated by Bernd Schaefer.


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