Mon, Sep 22, 2003 at 2:36:16 pm
Ion Mihai Pacepa has a revealing story on the embryonic origins of the world’s oldest terrorist: The KGB's Man.
Before I defected to America from Romania, leaving my post as chief of Romanian intelligence, I was responsible for giving Arafat about $200,000 in laundered cash every month throughout the 1970s. I also sent two cargo planes to Beirut a week, stuffed with uniforms and supplies. Other Soviet bloc states did much the same. Terrorism has been extremely profitable for Arafat. According to Forbes magazine, he is today the sixth wealthiest among the world's "kings, queens & despots," with more than $300 million stashed in Swiss bank accounts.
"I invented the hijackings [of passenger planes]," Arafat bragged when I first met him at his PLO headquarters in Beirut in the early 1970s. He gestured toward the little red flags pinned on a wall map of the world that labeled Israel as "Palestine." "There they all are!" he told me, proudly. The dubious honor of inventing hijacking actually goes to the KGB, which first hijacked a U.S. passenger plane in 1960 to Communist Cuba. Arafat's innovation was the suicide bomber, a terror concept that would come to full flower on 9/11.