The Red Prince - A.K.A - Ali Hassan Salameh.
The aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympic games terrorist attack left a shattered Israeli Olympic team, with 11 of its athletes murdered on that black day in September. Israelis demanded their government to bring those who were responsible for the attack to justice. Prime Minster of Israel, Golda Meir organized a senior political committee dubbed “Committee X”. The committee, lead by General Aharon Yariv, was put in charge of the newly created office of Counterterrorism. Yariv’s primary goal was, as Meir put it, “to put the fear of God” into those responsible for the terrorist attack in Munich. Operation Wrath Of God was born. The Israeli intelligence agency, the Mossad, was delegated primary responsibility with carrying out the operation. A small elite band of agents was assembled to be the “Sword Of Gideon” or a striking force; they alone would be responsible for assassinating those responsible. The list of targets included some hot shots in the PLO movement, Abu Lyad, leader of the Black September terrorist group and probably the biggest baddie of them all at that time, The Red Prince A.K.A Ali Hassan Salameh
The wealthy son of businessman Sheikh Hassan Salameh (a “legendary” figure in the early years of the Palestinian battle against the Zionists) , Salameh knew from an early age that he was destined to follow in his father's footsteps. He grew up in a family that considered 'struggle' a matter of heritage, which should be carried on by generation after generation. After his father’s death, Ali was put in charge of his family, he moved from the West Bank to Cairo, and then on to West Germany, where he studied engineering (notice how a lot of terrorists are/were engineering majors?). Salameh was far removed from the traditional Western image of a Palestinian terrorist born amid
squalor in a refugee camp and raised on memories and a diet of hatred. Salameh was the ultimate playboy, villas in Geneva, fast cars, houses in the south of France all contributed to his status as a living legend. With his utter commitment to the Palestinian cause, he rose quickly in the ranks of Arafat’s PLO (Arafat’s taste for a lavish style probably helped Salameh). Arafat had a lot of trust for Salameh, after rising in the ranks of the Fatah, Salameh was put in charge of Force 17, Arafat’s personal bodyguards/elite squad of terrorists.
Crime & Punishment
There was no doubt that Salameh was the mastermind behind the Munich massacre of Israeli athletes. Salameh was responsible for dispatching numerous terrorists to commit crimes against Israeli and Jewish civilians; he plotted to assassinate Israel’s Prime Minister Golda Meir and committed all of his wealth and power to the destruction of Israel. His hand lay behind almost every terrorist attack on Israelis during the 60s & 70s, prompting the nickname “the Red Prince”. Despite numerous attempts by the Mossad Salameh proved to be an elusive target, with numerous contacts all over Europe and the Middle East he could avoid Justice. Operation Wrath Of God was making a lot of progress; assassination of several of the other targets was accomplished with great success and by 1979, the Israeli agents were ready to track down and kill their final target, the Prince. Salameh was spotted in Beirut, a city that was riddled with civil war and full off various terrorist organizations. Israeli agents were able to smuggle several packs of explosives into Beirut (the type of explosive was probably hexagene, various accounts tell they had eleven pounds of it, which is equivalent to about sixty five pounds of dynamite). Salameh has been tracked for several weeks before his assassination, they knew the type of car he had and what kind of security he always had with him, they also noted that he always took the same road to his mother’s house. The Israeli agents filled a Volkswagen with the explosives, packed it with a wireless transmitter and carefully parked it on Beka street, the street Salameh drove on weekly. On January 22, Salameh, accompanied by two heavily armed body guards left towards his mother’s house, he was driving a Chevrolet Station Wagon with his guards behind him in a Land Rover. A Mossad Agent was placed in an apartment overlooking the explosive ridden Volkswagen, as the two car convoy approached, the agent detonated the Volkswagen. Salameh was fatally wounded; a sharp metal splinter was embedded in his brain. With his death, Operation Wrath Of God came to a close; the Israeli agents brought their own sort of justice unto those responsible for the Munich massacre.