Palestine Liberation Front–Abu Abbas Faction

The Abu Abbas-led faction of the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), which has had headquarters in Lebanon, Tunisia, and Iraq, first became known for using hang gliders and hot air balloons in bizarre terror attacks against Israel. The group later came to world attention during the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro, in which a disabled, elderly New Yorker was killed and his body dumped overboard.

During the mid-1970s, the PLF was formed by men who broke from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (itself a breakaway faction of George Habash's original Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). The PLF, which began as a secular, Marxist group, later split into three factions: pro-Yasir Arafat and his Palestine Liberation Organization, pro-Syrian, and pro-Libyan. Each faction kept the original “Palestine Liberation Front” name, and claimed to be the main organization. The ...

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