Bruce Riedel discusses the intelligence maneuvers that allowed Jordan’s King Hussein to incapacitate the fedayeen in September 1970 and cement his control over the kingdom. This article appears in Studies in Intelligence (Volume 64, Number 2).
The Jordanian civil war in 1970, better known as Black September, was decided by an intelligence success led by King Hussein and his chief of intelligence. It was a mystery for years until revealed in the memoir of a former CIA officer serving in the region at the time. President Richard Nixon and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger took great credit for managing the Black September crisis, but in fact their role was marginal to the outcome of the biggest threat to Hussein’s survival, the Iraqi army in eastern Jordan.