Ali Hassan Salameh

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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. He was assassinated by Mossad in January 1979.[1]

Contents

Biography

Salameh was born in the Palestinian town of Qula during the British mandate, to a wealthy family. He was the son of Shaykh Hassan Salameh, who was killed in action by the Israel Defence Forces 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 was known for flaunting his wealth, surrounded by women and driving sports cars, and had a very popular appeal among Palestinian young men; his nickname underlined his popularity — the "Red Prince.". 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 an innocent Moroccan waiter, Ahmed Bouchiki, in what became known as the Lillehammer affair in Norway, mistaking Bouchiki for Salameh, and resulting in the arrest of the Israeli killers.

As a result of the failure of Lillehammer and his alleged CIA protection, Salameh felt relatively safe, and hence didn't act like a man on the run. Having lived under cover in various parts of the Middle East and Europe, in 1978 he married Georgina Rizk, a Lebanese celebrity who had been Miss Universe seven years earlier in 1971. The couple spent their honeymoon in Hawaii and then stayed at Disneyland, California. When Rizk became pregnant, she returned to her flat in Beirut, Lebanon, where Salameh also rented a separate apartment.

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