The Arab Revolutionary Cells, the name used by the anonymous caller who telephoned Beirut newspapers and news agencies late last night with a claim that it planted the bomb that exploded on TWA Flight 840 yesterday, is similar to names used by factions led by Abu Nidal and his loosely structured Fatah Revolutionary Council.

Since the council's founding in Iraq in the mid-1970s, Abu Nidal's operations have been carried out under such names as the Arab Revolutionary Brigades, Arab Revolutionary Moslems and Revolutionary Moslem Socialists.

Abu Nidal (Arabic for "father of struggle") is the pseudonym of Sabri Banna, who moved his operations from Baghdad, Iraq, to Damascus, Syria, and is reported to have spent time in Libya recently. Last night's caller, who spoke with a Palestinian accent, said the Arab Revolutionary Cells had acted "in retaliation for American imperialist attacks against our Arab nation and the Jamahiriya," or Libya.

The statement read over the telephone said:

"The Arab Revolutionary Cells, the Ezzeddine Kassam unit, detonated a bomb aboard the American plane going from Rome to Cairo this afternoon in the skies of Corinth. This is the first natural response of all Arab revolutionary forces to the drunken behavior of American imperialism seeking hegemony and domination over the people of the Arab nation. This is the beginning of true revolutionary action to strike at imperialist American interests everywhere."

The statement concluded with a pledge to the "Arab masses and our Palestinian people to pursue the struggle and hold up the banner until liberation of Arab land, the achievement of Arab unity and progress. Such is the holy war for victory or martyrdom."

Palestinian experts here believe that such factions do not need direct orders from Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to carry out such actions, although they could be inspired by his speeches. Qaddafi has denied any link to the TWA explosion and warned President Reagan against using it as a reason for attacking Libya.

A commentary broadcast by state-run Tripoli radio on Monday urged Arab masses to strike at American interests everywhere, to attack American bases and American spies posing as experts and technicians.