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The Question of State-Sponsored Terrorism: Investigation of ASALA and JCAG in the Light of Available CIA Documents

After a careful investigation of available archival documents of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.S. State Department, this paper questions the state sponsoring of the terrorist operations of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) and the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide (JCAG). An investigation of the documents ascertains that state support for ASALA is identified by the CIA; however, knowledge about JCAG has remained in the dark due to its extreme clandestineness. In this respect, other than the support of local Armenian communities, this paper traces the fingerprints of the Soviet Union, Syria, Iran, and Libya behind the violent acts of ASALA despite their discreet and covert sponsoring. Furthermore, the tolerance shown by France and Switzerland towards the attacks of ASALA and JCAG gives the impression that the terrorist attacks conducted by Armenian terrorism attracted a certain level of sympathy among Western European governments, as long as their violent acts did not target non-Turkish victims.

The Question of State-Sponsored Terrorism Investigation of ASALA and JCAG
 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Terrorist attacks against Turkish diplomats in the last quarter of the 20th century, which were conducted by extremists from the Armenian community in several countries around the world, have been well-known for their lethal and carefully planned operational tactics. The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) and the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide (JCAG) claimed responsibility for more than 200 of those attacks, most of which focused exclusively on Turkish targets. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States of America reported that these two groups were among the most capable and dangerous terrorist organizations in the world.1

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