Investigating Arafat

Via The Agonist, a story by WorldNet Daily on a reopened FBI investigation into the murder by Palestinian gunmen of two US diplomats in 1973 that may have been personally ordered by Yasser Arafat. Here is an excerpt:

Over the years, there have been reports the Israelis also had tapes of Arafat ordering the executions, and that Jerusalem provided copies to President Nixon.

Sources in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office told WND Israeli intelligence provided evidence proving Arafat's culpability in the murders to the U.S. State Department and White House in March 1973. Sharon also publicly stated in 1995 that Israel shared this evidence with the U.S.

In 1985 and 1986, Congress requested then-Attorney General Ed Meese to investigate Arafat's complicity in the murders of the diplomats.

On Feb. 12, 1986, some 47 U.S. senators, including Al Gore, petitioned Meese "to assign the highest priority to completing this review, and to issue an indictment of Yasser Arafat if the evidence so warrants."

But the one critical piece of evidence needed to warrant an indictment - the tape recordings - was not produced by the NSA, the Central Intelligence Agency or the State Department.

Bill Carter, a spokesperson for the FBI in Washington, D.C., would neither confirm nor deny that the case has been reopened, but a source in the FBI's New York office told WND on condition of anonymity that an investigation has indeed been initiated at the request of an outside agency. He refused to name the agency.


The question, of course, is which outside agency and why now?

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.