Wadie HaddadPlayed by Ahmad Kaabour
Born in 1928 into a Greek Orthodox family in Safad, Galilee, where his father taught, the family was exiled in 1948. Wadie Haddad attended high school in Jerusalem before studying dental surgery at the American University in Beirut. There, he formed a friendship with another Greek Orthodox Palestinian studying medicine, George Habash, born in Lydda in 1925. The pair – Habash the intellectual, Haddad the man of action – opened a clinic in Amman. Then, fleeing the repression of the Nasserists in Jordan, they left for Damascus. After the Ba’athists took power, they moved to Beirut where, in 1967, they founded the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In 1968, Habash was arrested and jailed by the Syrians, who accused him of conspiracy; Haddad then pulled off a spectacular rescue mission to free his friend. The same year, the PFLP carried out the first hijacking of an El Al airliner.
But in 1972, George Habash and Wadie Haddad fell out: the former disapproved of the latter’s methods and warned against the danger of “criminalization”. In particular, Habash was hostile to the internationalization of the combat, he believed should be waged in Palestine alone. Carlos sided with Haddad, “the inventor of modern terrorism”, according to Pierre Marion, former boss of the DGSE, France’s overseas intelligence agency. Carlos admired and feared Haddad, who was obsessed with secrecy and was a brilliant organizer.
According to two writers who were given access to KGB archives, Haddad was an agent for Moscow, recruited in the early 1970s. The PFLP leader died aged 48, on 1 April 1978, in an East Berlin hospital.