Speaking about Iran's nuclear capability in an interview on Lebanese television in June 2007, Atwan stated, "If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight."He seems to be one of those people who speak differently in Arabic and in English:
In March 2008, Atwan said that the Mercaz HaRav shooting, in which a Palestinian gunmen killed eight students (aged 15 to 26), "was justified." He added that the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva is responsible for "hatching Israeli extremists and fundamentalists" and that the celebrations in Gaza following the attack symbolized "the courage of the Palestinian nation."
Atwan described the the attacks on Israelis in Eilat as correcting "the course of the Arab revolutions and refocused them on the most dangerous disease, namely the Israeli tyranny. This disease is the cause of all the defects that have afflicted the region for the past 65 years."
Following an October 2003 article in which Atwan claimed that the U.S. is to blame for the Arab world's hatred of it, a Yemenite journalist and columnist for the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Munir Al-Mawari, stated: "The Abd Al-Bari Atwan [appearing] on CNN is completely different from the Abdel Bari Atwan on the Al-Jazeera network or in his Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily. On CNN, Atwan speaks solemnly and with total composure, presenting rational and balanced views. This is in complete contrast with his fuming appearances on Al-Jazeera and in Al-Quds Al-Arabi, in which he whips up the emotions of multitudes of viewers and readers."
In response to Atwan's legitimization of the Mercaz HaRav shooting in March 2008, Lior Ben-Dor, a spokesman at the Israeli Embassy in London, said: "The problem is that when addressing the British public, he tends to hide his true opinions and ideology - his support for terror and the murder of civilians. This article reveals Atwan's real colors, a supporter of fundamentalism and terror, and hence he should be treated accordingly."
He has also been a big critic of the Libyan uprising:
On 17th April 2011, speaking on BBC News Channel's Dateline London, Atwan claimed that "We know that Eastern area of Libya is almost a hotbed of extremist Al-Qaeda people. I know that personally".It appears that his opinions on Libya were a bit...tainted.
Arabic media has been reporting that the new Libyan government has released documents showing that Atwan, as well as Jordanian Al-Dostour reporter Khairy Mansour, were being paid by Gaddafi a sum of $3000 every month.
Atwan vehemently denies it and is threatening to sue everyone who makes these accusations.