Background Report Iraq’s Involvement with Terrorism

Irag’s involvement with terrorism the last year has intensified to a point where it is now one of the major supporters of terrorism in the world, it was charged by Naphtali Lavie, Israel’s Consul General in New York.

Lavie stated, in a paper issued here, that Iraq’s involvement in international terrorism goes beyond supplying arms, ammunition and major financial support to terrorist organizations. It “also takes the form of Iraqi ‘volunteers’ sent to south Lebanon to aid the Palestine Liberation Organization,” Lavie said.

In addition, “there has been a direct Iraqi connection in the financing and procurement of arms from the Soviet Union and other East bloc countries for terrorist organizations in the Middle East,” according to Lavie.

ORGANIZED SYSTEM FOR FOSTERING TERRORISM

He said Iraq has established, within its territory, “an organized system for fostering terrorist activities against Israel, Arab and Islamic countries, and nations aligned with the West. At the head of this system stands the Palestine Office,” which is affiliated with Iraq’s ruling Boath regime, and the Arab Liberation Front, on arm of the PLO which is “under direct authority of Iraq.”

During the last year, the Israeli envoy said, Iraq was directly involved in eight terrorist attacks, launched by the Iraqi-sponsored “The Organization of the 15th of May,” against Jewish and Israeli installation around the world. The same group was responsible in 1980 for three terrorist attacks against Jewish and Israeli installations, Lavie said.

In addition to the Arab Liberation Front and The Organization of the 15th of May, Iraq also supports and sponsors the terrorist groups headed by Wadia Hadad and Abu Nidal Lavie said. The Abu Nidal group was responsible for the murder in May, 1981 of Vienna Councilman Heinz Nittel, a friend of Israel, and for attempts to organize terrorist activities in Austria. Lavie also said that “The Special Command” of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Organization of the 15th of May are two factions within the group led by Hadad.

“The Special Command has been granted a permanent base in Iraq in which it cooperates with Iraqi intelligence, as well as the May 15th Organization,” Lavie reported. “It was granted special permission to use Iraq as a base from which is could conduct its activities outside the country.”

MANY FORMS OF IRAQ’S COMMITMENTS

Iraq’s support of terrorism has many forms and commitments, the Israeli envoy pointed out. The major aspects are:

*”Direct involvement in the planning and implementation of terrorist attacks by Abu Nidal and May 15th Organization.

*”Training of terrorists in Iraqi camps prior to their participation in terrorist attacks, including the training of foreign terrorists who cooperate with the PLO.

*”Granting terrorist organizations the use of training camps, offices and facilities for planning and preparing attacks abroad.

*”The issuance of Iraqi travel and identification documents to terrorists or trips abroad.

*”Providing major funds to finance terrorist activities abroad.

*”Using Iraqi diplomatic pouches for smuggling weapons systems for terrorist organizations and storing these weapons in Iraqi embassies.

*”Aiding terrorists in foreign countries after on attack.”

ROLE OF IRAQI EMBASSIES

Lavie added: “There are Iraqi intelligence officers in a section of each of the Iraqi embassies active in aiding terrorist activities. Their role is considered extremely important and includes the provision of safe conduct back to Iraq where the terrorists will face no persecution for their crimes abroad.”

According to Lavie, Iraq is a major source of funding for the terrorist organizations. He said that since 1979, Iraq has given the PLO some $137 million in financial support.

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