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Abbas, Muhammad “Abu” (1948–)

aka Muhammad Zaidan

Muhammad “Abu” Abbas is the leader of the Palestine Liberation Front–Abu Abbas Faction (PLF), a Marxist militant group perhaps best known for its hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985. Abbas was a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee for many years, remaining loyal to Yasir Arafat during the 1980s when many other militant Palestinian leaders split with the PLO.

Abbas was born in 1948 in Haifa, in what is now Israel. He has often told interviewers that he was just 13 days old when his family fled to a refugee camp in Lebanon. He reportedly joined the PLO's army in 1964, and fought with the Vietcong against U.S. forces in Vietnam.

Abbas joined Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP–GC) in the late 1960s. In 1977, he became alienated by the ...

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