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[casi] Re: Question on ALF's payments to suicide bombers

In reply to Rahul's question, I wrote to Paul McGeough of The Sydney
Morning Herald who wrote an informative piece from Tulkarm on this issue
in late March. The article is at:
His other articles on Palestine, the war on terror etc have been good, so
he seems not to be a CNN stooge.
Anyway, this is his reply. It seems that Rahul's suspicion could be
correct, in contrast to Tariq Aziz's initial declaration (March 11). It
shouldn't, I hope, be a surprise - the Government of Iraq has since the
early 1970s made its disbursements to Palestinian groups (except their
client militia, the Arab Liberation Front) conditional upon exacting a
noteworthy death toll.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 2002 11:40:33 EST

Hello Glen,

The best evidence I have is what I saw and heard on my visit to Tulkarm.
Members of 47 families were present - 45 had lost a member in, if I can use
the word, the conventional circumstancs of the Intifada and two had lost
membersn who were suicide bombers. The conventional cases were given
$US10,000 and it was announced that the families of the suicide bombers were
to get $US25,000 and that these were the first families to be getting the
special $25,000 payment.

When I asked the officials of the of the Arab Liberation Front why they were
paying the xtra $US15,000 they told me that it was to encourage more
volunteers for the suicide missions.

I hope this is useful. It is interesting that when I interviewed the West
Bank head of the ALF at his Ramallah office he seemed not to know about the
$US25,000 for suicide bombers. He told me that ALL families would get
$US10,000, and from this I presumed that there was some quick decision making
on the increase and implementing it. I don't have the dates handy, but that
meeting took place four days prior to the date of public ation of my Tulkarm
piece (which I presume you have).

Cheers and thanks for the interest - feel free to come back to me if you need

Paul McGeough
The Sydney Morning Herald

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