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Ali Hassan Salameh: Wikis


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Ali Hassan Salameh
1940 – January 22, 1979
Ali Hassan Salameh (Arabic: علي حسن سلامة‎, ʿAlī Ḥasan Salāmah)
Place of birth Palestine-Mandate-Ensign-1927-1948.svg Qula, British Mandate of Palestine
Place of death Flag of Lebanon.svg Beirut, Lebanon
Allegiance PLO
Black September
Years of service 1958 - 1979
Rank Chief of operations
Battles/wars Munich Massacre

Ali Hassan Salameh (Arabic: علي حسن سلامة‎, ʿAlī Ḥasan Salāmah) (Hebrew: עלי חסן סלאמה‎) (1940 - January 22, 1979) was the chief of operations— code name Abu Hassan— for Black September, the organization responsible for the 1972 Munich massacre and other attacks. He was also the founder of Force 17.



Salameh was born in the town of Qula, Palestine, to a wealthy family. He was the son of Shaykh Hassan Salameh, who was killed in action during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, north of Jaffa. He was educated in Germany and is thought to have received his military training in Cairo and Moscow.

He had a very popular appeal among Palestinian young men; his nickname underlined his popularity — the "Red Prince" flaunted his wealth, surrounded by beautiful women and driving sports cars, all while fighting Israel. In 1978, he married Georgina Rizk, a Lebanese celebrity who was Miss Universe 1971. He had children by a previous marriage; reportedly his first wife was a granddaughter of Mohammad Amin al-Husayni.

After it was alleged that he organized what is known as the Munich Massacre during the 1972 Olympic Games, he was hunted by the Israeli Mossad during Operation Wrath of God. In 1973, Mossad killed a Moroccan waiter, Ahmed Bouchiki in what became known as the Lillehammer affair in Norway, mistaking Bouchiki for Salameh.

According to several sources, Salameh served as a secret contact between the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1970 until his death, guaranteeing not to assassinate US citizens in exchange for financial and political support. However, when asked by the Israelis, the relationship was denied by US officials. [1] He helped protect US citizens in Beirut, and his role was to facilitate contacts between the Palestinians and the US, in hope of obtaining US support for the Palestinians.[2][3]


Salameh was killed on January 22, 1979 in Beirut by a car bomb planted by Israeli security forces as part of the Operation Wrath of God campaign. Eight other people were also killed in the explosion.[4]

It is believed[5] that Mossad recruited Erika Chambers, a British citizen, to carry out Salameh's assassination. She traveled to the Middle East with a charity supporting Palestinian refugees and arranged a meeting with Salameh in Beirut, where Salameh was being harbored by the Lebanese government. Chambers learned Salameh's daily routine and arranged for a car bomb to be planted on a street which Salameh used. As his convoy drove past, Chambers activated the explosive, killing him and four of his bodyguards. Four bystanders were also killed.[6]

In popular culture

  • Ali Hassan Salameh was featured in the plot of the Steven Spielberg film Munich as one of the assassination targets. He is seen twice but was not assassinated until after the events of the film.
  • He appears as the character named Jamal Ramlawi in the spy novel Agents of Innocence by David Ignatius, a thinly disguised account of his recruitment by the CIA.[7]
  • He is briefly mentioned in the Robert Ludlum novel The Janson Directive, where his alleged links to the CIA are cited as an example of shady deals the United States makes.[8]
  • Daniel Silva borrowed from the exploits of Ali Hassan Salameh and his relatives to create the background for his fictional spy novel Prince of Fire, 2005.


  • Bar-Zohar, Michael; Eitan Haber (1983). The Quest for The Red Prince: The Israeli Hunt for Ali Hassen Salameh the PLO leader who masterminded the Olympic Games Massacre. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-78063-8.   which includes black and white photographic plates and which also include Yasser Arafat, together with an index.

See also


  1. ^ In the end, CIA-PLO links weren't helpful November 12, 2004
  2. ^ Penetrating Terrorist Networks September 16, 2001
  3. ^ The hunt for Black September 24 January 2006
  4. ^ Shalev, Noam 'The hunt for Black September', BBC News Online, 26 January 2006, accessed 14 March 2006.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Death of a Terrorist". Time Magazine. 1979-02-05.,9171,946209,00.html?internalid=ACA. Retrieved 2007-03-27.  
  7. ^ Agents of Inocence JSTOR, 1988
  8. ^ Ludlum, Robert, The Janson Directive, page 581 (St. Martin's Paperbacks edition October 2003), ISBN 0-312-98938-5, 2002
  • Massacre in Munich: The Manhunt for the Killers Behind the 1972 Olympics Massacre, Michael Bar Bar-Zohar, Eitan Haber ISBN 1592289452

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