Insight Turkey
Insight Turkey
Challenging ideas
On Turkish politics and International affairs

Insight Turkey > Articles |

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






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

What was the dynamic behind the sudden revival of Armenian terrorism in the mid-1970s, after a break for 50 years since the Operation Nemesis of 1920-1922? How did these terrorists achieve such accuracy and deadliness in their assaults? Despite the intense focus of academic publications on local networks of the Armenian Diasporas in Western European countries, to explain the capability of these terrorist groups in fundraising for their propaganda and violent acts, less attention is given to the question of state sponsorship. In the light of documents released by the CIA, this paper investigates the existence of state-sponsoring for the ethno-terrorism of ASALA and JCAG, and their links to the Middle Eastern groups. Once their easy access to financial resources and sophisticated arms is questioned, in addition to the accuracy in their assaults on victimized targets,2 it is argued in this paper that any possibility for state sponsoring should be investigated, rather than relying solely on the argument about the support of the local Armenian community.





It would not be wrong to argue that terrorist organizations and their financial resources have been under the scrutiny of intelligence organizations of many states to advance their fight against terrorism. If there is a smoking gun for the state support of ASALA and JCAG, there is a good chance of tracking the fingerprints by searching through the available archival documents of those intelligence organizations. The CIA archives, in this respect, present a rich number of documents. It should be noted that the CIA dedicated its resources to reveal any assistance to ASALA or other terrorist organizations by the Eastern Bloc states, which were believed to support terrorism in order to destabilize the U.S. and the other states friendly to the U.S.3

For terrorist organizations, regardless of their motivations, attracting the attention of the target audience, recruitment of new members, and sustaining economic sources are the three key concerns for existence, development, and survival

After scanning the top-secret and other classified documents of the CIA, which have been released and declassified under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), this study searched through 4674 documents related to state-sponsored terrorism, 175 of which were either questioning or tracking the fingerprints of any kind of state support for the ASALA and JCAG attacks. The reliability of these documents has also been tested by cross-checking them with 82 available documents of the U.S. State Department, which have commented on the briefs and the assessments of the CIA regarding ASALA and JCAG terrorism. Furthermore, the available documents of the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, and the Mitrokhin Archives are also utilized to reach the Soviet documents.

The following section presents a comprehensive summary for the overview of state-sponsored terrorism, along with a historical analysis of the evolution of ASALA and JCAG. Next, released and declassified documents of the CIA are investigated to trace the fingerprints of perpetrator states in sponsoring these two terrorist groups.



State-Sponsored Terrorism


Despite more than two hundred fifty different definitions, terrorism is commonly defined as consisting of violent acts which are systemically conducted against the public order to achieve political goals by using fear and coercion.4 For terrorist organizations, regardless of their motivations, attracting the attention of the target audience, recruitment of new members, and sustaining economic sources are the three key concerns for existence, development, and survival.5 To challenge the monopoly of the legitimate violence that states enjoy, these three concerns may bring the necessity of being sponsored economically and politically by other states. This, when combined with the proclaimed aim of states for preserving national interests, blurs the definition of terrorism and raises the question of justifying terrorists and their acts by labeling them as freedom fighters or guerrillas. State-sponsored terrorism, in this respect, emerges as a controversial way for states in assisting clandestine organizations through their support for terrorist groups.

Although diplomatic relations between states are generally conducted through official channels by state institutions, diplomacy may switch to covert actions and sponsoring terrorism, while denying responsibility, when they feel that their national interests are threatened by an ally or hostile state. Once the perpetrator of the violence is the State, Jackson claims that the non-state understanding of terror draws a thin line between terrorism and the legitimate use of violence, which makes it difficult to clearly define state terrorism.6

As a new Leftist terrorist organization with a Marxist and socialist ideology, ASALA established friendly links with the Soviet Union but also blamed the Dashnaks, and other right-wing political groups of Armenia, for being puppets of imperialism and Zionism

Having mentioned the well-known U.S. definition of state terrorism as the usage of violence and fear against opposition domestically and against rivals abroad, by using actors other than official institutions and officers as a proxy, Stohl advances this definition and includes all kinds of violent acts and human right abuses of official state institutions.7 At this point, international obligations of the State in using legitimate violence even in warfare could benefit to dissociate itself from state terrorism, which is the humanitarian limit for the State.8

State-sponsored terrorism, different from state terrorism, is a broader concept to define the covert and deniable support of a state for a terrorist group, to challenge a target state by obliterating its fingerprints.9 According to a CIA report states sponsor terrorism “to influence policies of other countries, to establish or strengthen regional or global influence, and, in some cases, to eliminate or terrorize dissident exiles and nationals from adversary countries,” and the report mentions that “many countries are reluctant to condemn states that support or engage in international terrorist activities when those activities are cloaked in the mantle of anti-imperialism,” in addition to their fear of economic or other forms of retaliation by sponsor states.10 This support could be direct or covert assistance to terrorist groups with diplomatic and moral support, economic, political, and financial assistance, military training and providing shelter, intelligence sharing about the targets or just tolerating terrorist activities within the territories of the sponsoring state.11 Once a terrorist group is clandestinely sponsored by a state, it is argued that the violent acts would be accurate, well-planned, unexpected, and psychologically more destructive compared to non-sponsored terrorist groups.12

During the Cold War, reports of the CIA mention that the U.S. and NATO believed that terrorism targeted Western values of freedom and democracy, which is why they advised U.S. presidents to build cooperation in the Western world against terrorism.13 According to Laqueur, when state-sponsored terrorism was at its peak during the 1970s and 1980s, small-sized, weak, and rogue states tended to sponsor terrorism against their neighbors or rival states because they thought they could not beat them in conventional warfare.14



ASALA and JCAG: Armenian Terrorism or Terrorists of the Armenian Community?


The discontent of the Armenian community against the Ottoman Empire, after the ideological wave of the French Revolution, turned into intense violent acts beginning in 1890 when the Armenian Dashnak organization was established in Tbilisi under the influence of ethnic and nationalist motivations. Indeed, this first wave of terrorism in 1890 focused on liberating Armenian society from Ottoman rule and establishing an independent Armenian state;15 however, it ended up with catastrophic casualties of Armenians when the Ottoman rulers decided to relocate them under the Relocation and Resettlement Law (Sevk ve İskân Kanunu).16 In the 1920s, Armenian terrorism was vitalized with Operation Nemesis, which was well-known for the assassinations of former Ottoman rulers such as Talat Paşa, who was held responsible for the above-mentioned Law.17 Even though the terrorist acts ceased for a period of around 50 years, the world witnessed ASALA and JCAG as the new wave of Armenian terrorism starting from 1973.18 Here, it is important to ask why Armenian terrorism was revitalized in the 1970s.

When two Turkish diplomats in Los Angeles were assassinated in 1973 by a 78-year-old Armenian fanatic named Kourken Yanikian, asserting that he was taking revenge for the 1915 incidents, he inspired many fanatics of the Armenian diaspora who had settled around the world.19 As has been mentioned in the literature, the failure of the methods of the Armenian community in its worldwide propaganda for the 1915 incidents,20 Turkey’s success in its efforts to delete paragraph 30 of the UN report of 1973-1974, which mentioned the 1915 incidents as the first genocide of 20th century,21 the international discontent against Turkey after its intervention in Cyprus in 1974 and finally the Lebanese Civil War in the 1970s and the inter-organizational assistance of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) provided a suitable ground for the revival of Armenian terrorism.22 In this respect, Hagop Hagopian, James Karnusian, Hagop Darakjian, and Kevork Ajemian established ASALA (Hayasdani Azadakrut’ean Hay Kaghdni Panag) in January 1975 in Lebanon.23 Having declared its three political goals of the international recognition of the 1915 incidents as genocide for the Armenian community, obtaining an indemnity from Turkey and annexing the East part of Turkey to the country of Armenia, ASALA, during its first stage, targeted Turkish diplomats, their families and representatives of Turkey abroad, using bomb attacks and assassinations.24

Spearheaded by the Soviet Union; Iran, Libya, and Syria are repeatedly mentioned in the list of socialist states which were assumed to support terrorist networks in order to weaken the Western alliance

As a new Leftist terrorist organization with a Marxist and socialist ideology, ASALA established friendly links with the Soviet Union but also blamed the Dashnaks, and other right-wing political groups of Armenia, for being puppets of imperialism and Zionism.25 Üstün underlines that ASALA initially attacked Dashnak members due to its discontent about the unsuccessful non-violent methods of Dashnak groups in announcing the 1915 incidents to the world.26 Moreover, a CIA report notes that ASALA also accused JCAG and the Dashnaks of tolerating the immigration of the Armenian community from their traditional homeland to other countries by exploiting their economic problems.27

Despite its shared political goals with ASALA, JCAG differs from it in terms of its ideology and operational codes. Unlike the Marxist ideology of ASALA, which built close ties with the Soviet Union, JCAG had a nationalist ideology and was opposed to the Socialist Soviet Republic of Armenia.28 Having seen ASALA as a rival and competitor organization, JCAG built close connections with and gained financial support from, the diaspora in Beirut and the Dashnak Party, also known as the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), and had historical records of assassinations and terrorist attacks on former Ottoman rulers.29

Following its first attack in Beirut on January 20, 1975, 186 attacks by ASALA have been recorded, most of which were carried out between 1975 and 1983, targeting Turkish diplomats and their families, using explosives, bombing, and firearms.30 JCAG, with its 48 attacks, on the other hand, became notoriously known with its first attack on the Turkish diplomat Daniş Tunalıgil on October 22, 1975. Like its predecessor nemesis group, JCAG put itself on the map with its concentration on Turkish targets and accuracy in its well-planned professional clandestine attacks with high casualties, until it took the name of Armenian Revolutionary Army (ARA) in 1983.31 Despite ASALA’s rise, after the hostage-taking in the Turkish Consulate in Paris in September 1981, which was known as the Van Operation,32 the destruction of its training facilities and shelters, along with those of the PLO, during Israel’s attack on Lebanon in 1982 interrupted its revival, as Israel started to share intelligence with the Turkish Intelligence Organization.33 Finally, ASALA experienced a rapid decline when it lost financial assistance and sponsors after its indiscriminate attack at Orly Airport in France on July 15, 1983, while Western countries and the Armenian diaspora were already ill at ease with ASALA’s attacks on other Armenian groups.34 Although JCAG did not experience the fragmentation as ASALA had, its attacks also declined when its leader Apraham (Apo) Ashjian was killed in 1982, eight of its members were arrested and the Lisbon Five died.35

In CIA documents, it is believed that the Soviet Union had a great interest in causing political instability in Turkey, a key NATO ally

Unlike the operational mode of ASALA in terms of bombing and hostage-taking,36 Dugan et al. note that JCAG was well-known with a clear pattern of assassinating its targets by using firearms in the middle of a street, a ‘hit and run’ tactic that was criticized by ASALA as cowardly.37 The tables below (Table 1 and Table 2) present the number and type of terrorist attacks of both ASALA and JCAG. At this point, the CIA underlines that:

Our analysis and a large body of evidence indicate that JCAG is the action wing of the ARF. We believe JCAG assassins - only rarely apprehended - are recruited and trained within the ARF Youth Federation on a one-time ‘kill’ basis. After an assassination, the JCAG operative is seldom used again in a terrorist operation.38


Table 1: ASALA Attacks: Distribution by Year, target and Attack Type

Source: Global terrorism Database 39

Table 2: JCAG/ARA Attacks: Distribution by Year, target and Attack Type

Source: Global terrorism database 40

Due to its clandestineness, less information on JCAG members and their organizational pyramid has been collected when compared to ASALA. However, the CIA reports underline the accuracy and discipline in JCAG operations. In terms of the modus operandi of its attacks, slowing down the victim near a traffic sign at its most vulnerable point, and selecting a route so that the shooter is endowed with the leeway to escape unscathed, is the outstanding feature. Moreover, the autopsy reports of the victims show the professionalism of the attackers in shooting multiple bullets into a very small area with clear precision.41 In this respect, while questioning the possibility of state-sponsorship, the CIA report on JCAG’s operational tactic mentions that “Its attacks (…) exhibit boldness, professionalism, and meticulous planning and training. JCAG employs surveillance techniques to ensure the success of its operations.”42

In terms of the assistance of the Armenian community, the CIA reports that most people from the Armenian community-supported Armenian terrorists financially and morally, while almost none of them had talked to police or security forces about the arrested Armenian terrorists.43 Ethnic solidarity within these terrorist groups, additionally, protected them from infiltration by security and intelligence organizations.44 The CIA interpretation is that “the present Armenian extremist groups are often descended from members of the pro-Soviet Komintern or Armenians of the Mamouchian group which fought the Nazis. These people have a long tradition of clandestinity and are very difficult to infiltrate.”45 At this point, it should be noted that there has been a split within the Armenian community in terms of supporting these terrorist groups or condemning them, due to their method of using terrorist violence;46 however, Gunn notes that their violent terrorist campaign against Turkey was highly supported by the Armenian diaspora.47

It is also noted in the same reports that ally states of Moscow in East Europe and the Middle East were eager to support terrorist groups instead of Moscow

Gunter mentions that the JCAG earned more sympathy from the Armenian community where the Dashnak media prioritized the so-called ‘legendary’ news about JCAG members.48 Other than the internal split, the fall of ASALA is interpreted as the result of its loss of power in getting the support of the Armenian community on the one hand, and in exerting its influence on West European countries through threatening them with bombing attacks on the other. Here, the U.S. State Department comments that:

When an Armenian terrorist is in custody, it is easy for ASALA to concentrate its attacks on a single country. However, over the past years, it may be that ASALA can no longer expect to force the release of all its imprisoned members. This may explain the current hiatus in ASALA’s retaliatory attacks.49

Monte Melkonian’s selected writings titled “The Right to Struggle,” which were edited by his brother Markar; or Markar’s book titled “My Brother’s Road” could be regarded as the two main sources that include insider information. However, considering that Monte Melkonian joined ASALA in 1980 and was under arrest between 1985-1989, he missed many crucial years of Armenian terrorism, namely its rise and fall.50 Other than the propaganda sections of the book for his prospective followers, the high level of subjectivity and emotional overview of the cases held by Melkonian includes information that is in contradiction to official reports. For instance, although more than twenty ASALA members were arrested and many others operated clandestinely in 1983,51 his book mentions a very small number of ASALA members conducting all operations all over Europe.52 Instead of any comment on ASALA’s connections with state agencies, it could be seen that his writings mostly include revolutionary ideas, the organizational structure of a revolutionary organization, and discussions on Armenian culture and national identity.



Question of State-Sponsoring: What CIA Documents Reveal?


In the CIA reports, it is generally argued that the sponsorship of Armenian terrorism was mostly based on the financial support from the Armenian diaspora on the one hand, and covert political and economic assistance of the Soviet Union on the other hand. This covert assistance was mainly in the form of training the ASALA terrorists by the Soviet intelligence service KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti), protection and support of terrorists by Syria due to unsolved political conflicts with Turkey since the accession of Sanjak of Alexandretta/İskenderun to Turkey in 1939, and the covert support of Greek Cypriots after Turkey’s intervention to Cyprus in 1974.53 The Turkish allegations, additionally, concentrated on clandestine support of West European states through secret agreements with the Armenian terrorist groups.54

Spearheaded by the Soviet Union; Iran, Libya, and Syria are repeatedly mentioned in the list of socialist states which were assumed to support terrorist networks in order to weaken the Western alliance.55 Indeed, an early CIA report on March 14, 1949, records the monthly financial support of the Soviet Union to the Armenian Orthodox community in Lebanon in return for their communist propaganda within the Armenian diaspora and their cooperation with socialist Arab states.56


Sponsoring by the Soviet Union

In CIA documents, it is believed that the Soviet Union had a great interest in causing political instability in Turkey, a key NATO ally. That is why terrorist activities against Turkey were supported covertly by the socialist Arab and East European states with the clandestine assistance of the KGB. This support included training terrorists, providing arms via the international gray arms market, and other direct or indirect assistance;57 and the CIA believed that the signs of Soviet support to ASALA in the Middle East and East Europe increased due to Moscow’s desire to escalate revolutionary violence.58 In this respect, the CIA report in September 1984 mentions that:

Foreign support for Turkish terrorism continues (…) We believe the Soviets also lend support to terrorist groups, but they have been extremely discreet, and there is limited evidence of their activities. In our view, they rely on intermediaries, such as the Bulgarians and Syrians, whose role is better documented.59

The Special Report of Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) on July 24, 1985 comments on the plans of the Soviet Union to declare a covert war against NATO. The report writes:

The Spetsnaz teams. It is the Soviet professional sabotage and assassination teams which are carrying out the most sophisticated terrorist attacks, including the Audran and Zimmermann assassinations and the pipeline bombings. Local pro-terrorist circles are normally kept in the dark about operational details. (…) Within this effort, Spetsnaz “cells” are known to be operative within the IRA, ASALA, and the Basque ETA.60

At this point, it can be seen that the U.S. State Department was not certain about the evidence for the clear assistance of Moscow to ASALA. While a telegram sent by the State Department to the Embassy in Ankara in 1980 mentions that “We do not regard ASALA or any of its permutations as a Moscow-lining organization,”61 another telegram sent by the State Department to the Embassy in Moscow in 1984 comments that:

The evidence linking the Soviets to ASALA is circumstantial. From the scant intelligence information available, it appears that Moscow may indirectly assist the group by providing arms, funding, and other logistical items through third parties. We have no reliable intelligence suggesting a direct operational Soviet role in ASALA attacks, such as providing intelligence on potential targets.

In 1981, for example, a generally reliable source reported that the Soviets provided arms, uniforms, equipment, and training to ASALA through Fatah.62

Under the ideological tension of the Cold War, the U.S. believed that terrorist attacks symbolized the revolutionary fight against the U.S. ‘imperialism,’ and this belief seems to indoctrinate the CIA reports intensely. Within this perspective, the CIA report on June 7, 1982, states that “The synthetic explosive in Copernic incident was Czechoslovakian, which was also used in Armenian attacks on Turks;” and “KGB officers never carry out a personal hit” to underline the indirect Soviet involvement by supplying explosives to different organizations.63 Besides, the CIA report on July 18, 1985, which was submitted to Donaly T. Regan, Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President, includes a fictitious letter ghostwritten by Eduard Shevardnadze, the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Soviet Union, to Mikhail Gorbachev, the President of the Soviet Union, about policy recommendations. In this fictitious letter, the CIA officers believed that Shevardnadze would have recommended to “provide covert support to a Pan-Kurdist movement-with good ties to Armenian ASALA- in order to weaken Turkey and Iran.”64 Even though the letter was just a product of imagination, it presents the mindset of the U.S. intelligence organization because the report was taken seriously and sent by William Casey, Director of Central Intelligence.

In contrast to the CIA’s tendency for associating terrorism and Soviet sponsoring through indirect links, Western reluctance in combatting ASALA and JCAG terrorism did not arouse suspicions about sponsoring

Robert Gates, former director of the CIA, argues that there was a disagreement between different units of the intelligence community about the role of Moscow in supporting terrorism. According to Gates, when Reagan was President, while the reports of the Office of Soviet Analysis could not support any allegations of Soviet involvement in supporting terrorism, the Defense Intelligence Agency was sure in its reports about the influence of Moscow in supporting revolutionary violence and left-wing terrorist groups.65 In this respect, after these different units were instructed to cooperate in their reports, the same reports mentioned that the Soviet Union kept itself apart from any terrorist groups in West European countries due to their strong state systems and the risk of damaging the Soviet objectives.66 It is also noted in the same reports that ally states of Moscow in East Europe and the Middle East were eager to support terrorist groups instead of Moscow. When it comes to supporting ASALA or JCAG, 1986 and 1987 reports mention that “Unsubstantiated reports have occasionally surfaced alleging Soviet involvement with ASALA (…). According to reporting from more reliable sources, the Soviets have little or nothing to do with ASALA.”67

At this point, without giving specific reference to ASALA or JCAG, the Vasili Mitrokhin archives reveal the use of terrorism by the Soviet Union, and its clandestine support to Middle Eastern terrorist groups against the U.S. and NATO interests, using the KGB as the instrument.68 In this respect, it could be argued that the CIA was on the right track in its estimations for clandestine Soviet support to terrorist organizations.


Sponsoring by Iran, Syria, and Libya

The archival documents of the CIA give special attention to Iran, Syria, and Libya in terms of providing shelter, training facilities, financial assistance, and high tolerance within their territories, using their intelligence and military organizations. Moreover, those three regimes’ influences over the PLO and its cooperation with ASALA, by training its members and putting the well-organized infrastructure of PLO in Europe at the disposal of ASALA, are interpreted as the primary sources of sponsoring.69 The CIA document in November 1985, which reports occasional drug trafficking by ASALA for its operations in Europe, notes that “Syria also supports or tolerates the activities of a number of terrorist groups that participate in the drug trade, including ASALA.”70

At this point, some of the KGB documents declassified by the Institute mention the cooperation between the Czech authorities and Moscow on combatting ASALA activities

Despite discreet and prudent involvement of Libya, the CIA notes that money and weapons supply, providing passports to terrorists in Beirut, and training them in Libyan camps proved the sponsoring of terrorist organizations, including ASALA.71 Likewise, Iran has been categorized as a sponsoring state after the Islamic revolution in 1979. Interestingly, despite the early support of ASALA to the Islamic revolution, it is reported that the Revolutionary Guards of Khomeini’s regime attacked the Armenian Centre in Isfahan, and two ASALA members were executed, which temporarily damaged the sponsoring relation.72

Here, CIA documents reveal three important intelligence reports about Syrian, Iranian, and Libyan support to ASALA, by writing that:

Although Syria has given little assistance to ASALA in the past, we believe that this is changing in the wake of the invasion of Lebanon and the resulting evacuation of some ASALA members to Damascus.73

Since the arrest of 51 Armenians in Paris after the Orly bombing, French installations in Tehran have been the target of several attacks by the Orly Group (an ASALA covername). We suspect these attacks may have been conducted with Iranian approval if not assistance.

We suspect that ASALA’s expanded contacts with Libya may eventually increase the group’s terrorist potential. We believe Syrian involvement with ASALA may also bolster Armenian capabilities, particularly if Syria is providing training and a base of operations for ASALA terrorists.74

Interestingly, in contrast to the CIA’s belief in increasing support of Syria to ASALA, the U.S. State Department, in its comments on the report of the CIA which was titled “Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1987,” mentions a decrease in Syrian support since the mid-1980s, where it is reported that “We attribute the continuing quiescence in Armenian terrorism to a lessening of Syrian support for ASALA, effective countermeasures were taken by Turkey and other governments, and perhaps reduced support in the Armenian community.”75 On the other hand, a telegram sent by the U.S. Embassy in Beirut also holds some estimates about Libyan financial support to ASALA with the help of the Lebanese Arab Army.76 Here, other than the CIA sources, an Armenian leader is also quoted as saying that “Khomeini may be a Judas to you, but he is the spirit of holiness to us, for he gives us money and arms.”77


Western Countries and the Question of Sponsoring

In most of the CIA documents, comments and interpretations of the officers seem to keep Western governments apart from state-sponsorship of terrorism, which could be regarded as the precautious ideological bias of the CIA within the atmosphere of the Cold War. In contrast to the CIA’s tendency for associating terrorism and Soviet sponsoring through indirect links, Western reluctance in combatting ASALA and JCAG terrorism did not arouse suspicions about sponsoring. On the contrary, open society understanding in Western countries was regarded as the main reason for tolerating terrorist activities within their territories.78

Local support for Armenian terrorism by the large Armenian community in France, the public expression of sympathy for these organizations due to sympathy for the Armenian cause following the 1915 incidents, the French tolerance to political exiles and ASALA due to the French tradition of revolutionary democracy, and finally the fear of antagonizing terrorist organizations to target French citizens are regarded as the reasons for the unwillingness of France to prevent Armenian terrorism.79

Here, it could be argued that the Western states did not see ASALA and JCAG as major threats unless they targeted non-Turkish victims.80 In this respect, the CIA reports repeatedly mentions U.S. efforts in fighting against Armenian groups on the one hand but also underline the prudence for not going too far as long as U.S. interests are not threatened.81 Many of those reports repeat that “ASALA and JCAG have traditionally avoided attacks on U.S. interests proper” and “the direct threat to non-Turkish targets in the U.S. from Armenian terrorism remains minimal at this time.82 This, however, seemed to change after the indiscriminate operations of ASALA. Here, it is reported in these documents that retaliations took place against France and Switzerland by ASALA when these two states arrested its members after they perpetrated violent attacks, specifically after the Orly attack.83

At this point, Cyprus presents a unique case for Turkey due to the strong belief in its assistance to ASALA, by providing training camps and financial help in addition to material support to terrorists. Despite Turkey’s allegations regarding the state-sponsoring of ASALA by the Greek government of Cyprus, the U.S. State Department does not seem to be convinced with the documents submitted by Turkey. Although some arrested members of the ASALA such as Tcharkhutian were carrying Cypriot passports and 300 suspected Armenian extremists arrived in Cyprus with the help of the “Foreign Youth Organization”, the State Department believed that the small size of Cyprus could not let any clandestine operation stay secret.84

Archival documents, however, reveal that the desire of the U.S. in fighting against Armenian terrorism strongly depended on the level of the deterioration of U.S. interests by those terrorists

The CIA reports that Turkey consistently pressured the U.S. to expand its assistance in fighting against Armenian terrorism, and blamed West European states for their covert support to ASALA and JCAG.85 The January 1984 report interestingly reveals the existence of an informal channel between the French government and ASALA for negotiations over ceasing its attacks on French soil in return for refusing the extradition of its member Tcharkhutian, who was arrested in France after conducting terrorist acts in the U.S. and released by a French court on the condition that he left for the Middle East.86 The same document also reports a covert agreement between Italy and ASALA after December 1979, in return for closing immigration centers in Italy to prevent the emigration of Armenians from the traditional homeland.87

Secondly, both the efforts and limitations of the U.S. in its cooperation with Turkey against Armenian terrorism are reported in the aforementioned document thus:

Implying that Western intelligence agencies are withholding information, the Turks have pressed for specific identities, locations, and plans of Armenian terrorists. The U.S. does share information with the Turks, but U.S. legal constraints prohibit the passage of information concerning U.S. citizens and sub-judice material.88

All these CIA documents about Armenian terrorism have been criticized by Oleg Kuznetsov for their ideological bias. According to him, the main enemy of Armenian radicals was the Soviet Union in the 1980s and ASALA was forced to cooperate with the U.S. secretly because the Israeli secret service Mossad shared all documents of ASALA, which were seized after Israel’s attack on Lebanon in 1982, with the CIA.89

Unfortunately, the available KGB documents in the Mitrokhin archives do not present any information related to state-sponsoring of Armenian terrorism. Likewise, other than partial and descriptive information about the scope of Armenian terrorism, the available documents of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes do not present any resourceful clue about the existence or non-existence of state-sponsorship by the Eastern Bloc.90 At this point, some of the KGB documents declassified by the Institute mention the cooperation between the Czech authorities and Moscow on combatting ASALA activities.91 Here, an interesting document of the Institute is worthy of note, which mentions the following:

According to allegations, the special services of Syria, Greece, Turkey, and France were behind the murder of Hagopian.

In early 1985, Melkonian was regarded by the Hagopian group as a traitor and “CIA agent hiding in Paris under the protection of French special services”

After Hagopian’s murder, the group under Totochjan’s leadership directed its attacks against the Dashnak group to strengthen its position.

Syrian authorities protected the group under Arman’s leadership after the split.92

Considering that the fall of Armenian terrorism coincided with the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the argument about the sponsorship of the Eastern Bloc accords with reason.



Discussion and Conclusion


Other than the local support of the Armenian community in different countries as the most important source of sponsorship for ASALA and JCAG, three conclusions can be drawn from the CIA documents related to Armenian terrorism. Firstly, the support of different states to terrorist groups is associated with different motivations based on their level of sponsorship and their method of providing support. Iran, according to the CIA, was motivated with a philosophical commitment to export its fundamentalist and anti-Western regime, and state officers including ambassadors also played their role in this sponsoring. Syria, which was regarded as the most professional sponsor and the most difficult to penetrate, was believed to use surrogates to extend its foreign policy reach. Libya used its sponsoring to improve the image of its weak regime against Western states. The Soviet Union, by involving itself indirectly, was believed to provide material support and weaponry to the terrorist networks through Eastern Bloc states.93 At this point, it could also be concluded that the CIA and the Secretary of State had controversial interpretations about the smoking gun of the Soviet Union in terms of its covert support to ASALA.

Secondly, about the indirect support of Western countries, the CIA documents put emphasis on public sympathy and governmental tolerance for the Armenian cause and Armenian terrorism as long as they did not target non-Turkish victims. In addition to the sympathy for the Armenian cause because of the 1915 incidents, the strong lobbying power of local Armenian communities in those West European and North American countries should also be noted.

Despite the regular informational assistance of the U.S. to Turkey on Armenian terrorism, the level of cooperation appears to have stayed at a certain level due to the legislative limitations of the American legal system. Archival documents, however, reveal that the desire of the U.S. in fighting against Armenian terrorism strongly depended on the level of the deterioration of U.S. interests by those terrorists.

Finally, despite the resourceful documentation on financial networks and state sponsoring for ASALA, the available CIA archive presents no document or piece of intelligence proving that JCAG was sponsored by a state where JCAG preserved its mysterious secrecy.

Leaving 95 fatalities, 58 of which were Turkish, and 404 severely injured victims, Armenian terrorism experienced a rapid decline in the 1990s. Attempts for revitalizing ASALA and JCAG operations failed to initiate a revival; however, the December 27, 2019 decision of the U.S. court in California to grant parole to Hampig Sassounian, an important JCAG member who assassinated the Turkish Consul General in 1982 in the U.S., seems to escalate the tensions and attract the attention of radicals in the Armenian community in terms of revitalizing their desire to commit acts of violence.94





1. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), available CIA documents can be accessed by searching the “Document No,” retrieved from For the comments of the CIA about ASALA and JCAG, see Doc-No: CIA-RDP83B00851R000400160002-4.

2. Paul Wilkinson, “Armenian Terrorism,” The World Today, Vol. 39, No. 9 (1983), pp. 344-350.

3. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP86M00886R001100010029-1; Also see, “ASALA Interview,” Herbert Romerstein Collection, Box 544, Folder 7, (Hoover Institution Library and Archives).

4. For 250 different definitions of terrorism see, Alex P. Schmid, “The Definition of Terrorism,” in Alex P. Schmid (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research, (London and New York: Routledge, 2011), pp. 39-158.

5. Report classifies terrorism in four waves (anarchist, anti-colonialist, new leftist and radical) depending on these motivations. David C. Rapoport, “The Four Waves of Modern Terror: International Dimensions and Consequences,” in Jussi M. Hanhimaki and Bernhard Blumenau (eds.), An International History of Terrorism: Western and Non- Western Experiences, (New York: Routledge, 2013), pp. 282-310.

6. Richard Jackson, “The Ghosts of State Terror: Knowledge, Politics and Terrorism Studies,” Aberystwyth University Paper prepared for the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference, (March 26‐29, 2008), pp. 1-17. Although terrorism is associated with non-state actors today, it found a place in the literature first to describe the reign of terror, the use of violence by the Jacobin and Thermidorian state regimes against the people which threatened the raison d’état after the French Revolution. See also, Michael Stohl, “The State as Terrorist: Insights and Implications,” Democracy and Security, Vol. 2, No. 1 (2006), pp.1-25. Laqueur takes this concept back to earlier times in which Roman and Byzantine empires used state terrorism against the antagonists of their regimes. See, Walter Laqueur, The New Terrorism: Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 156.

7. Stohl, “The State as Terrorist,” p. 6. Here, Stohl makes the main difference by arguing that state officers and institutions may also be involved in state terrorism if terrorist groups are sponsored by those institutions and the violence is not used for protecting citizens.

8. For the international obligations about the use of legitimate violence by the state see, Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006), pp. 26-27.

9. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP83B00851R000300020012-9; The CIA broadens the mainstream definition of international terrorism and includes “Terrorism Conducted with the Support of a Foreign Government or Organization.” For defining international terrorism, Doc-No: CIA-RDP85M00363R000901960028-1.

10. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85M00363R000901960025-4.

11. Paul Wilkinson, “State-Sponsored International Terrorism: The Problems of Response,” The World Today, Vol. 40, No. 7 (July 1984), pp. 292-298.

12. Wilkinson, “State-Sponsored International Terrorism,” p. 294.

13. For the similar telegrams of the U.S. State Department see, Case-No. F-2013-03671 Doc-No. C05485854. Under FOIA, the files could be accessed by using Case-No and Doc-No, retrieved from

14. Laqueur, The New Terrorism, 158.

15. For a comprehensive analysis of how the Dashnak movement triggered Armenian insurgency in the Caucasus during the First World War and assessments of Armenian General Korganoff, see Aytekin Cantekin, İsyan ve Hasım Devlet Desteği: Birinci Dünya Savaşı’nda Kafkasya Cephesinde Ermeni İsyanı Örneği, (Ankara: Gazi Kitabevi, 2019), pp. 116-125.

16. Michael M. Gunter, “Armenian Terrorism in the Twentieth Century,” Armenian History and the Question of Genocide, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 57-73. The violent acts held by the fanatics of the Armenian community during the 20th Century were labelled as Armenian terrorism by Andrew Corsun, and the 1890 attacks were regarded as the first wave of Armenian terrorism. For Andrew Corsun’s work “Armenian Terrorism: A Profile,” see “Turkish Armenian File: U.S. Department of State Remarks on the Armenian Genocide,” in RAC Box 19, (Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Digital Library Collections), pp. 32-35.

17. During World War I, the Relocation and Resettlement Law on May 27, 1915, forced Armenians to immigrate to less vulnerable territories of the Ottoman Empire, such as Deyru’z-Zur, today a North-eastern province of Syria. In order not to add a political tone to the relocation and resettlement policy of the Ottomans towards Armenians, the term “1915 incidents” is used in this paper to refer the Law with its catastrophic consequences. For a scientific discussion in the light of historical documents see, M. Serdar Palabıyık, Understanding the Turkish-Armenian Controversy Over 1915, (İstanbul: Beta Publishing, 2015).

18. For different perspectives on the waves of Armenian terrorism, see Gunter, “Armenian Terrorism in the Twentieth Century,” p. 57; Erkan Demirağcı, “Armenian Terrorism in America and Turkish-Americans, Interview with Ergün Kırlıkovalı,” Journal of Atatürk and the History of Turkish Republic, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Summer 2018), pp. 289-308.

19. Michael M. Gunter, “Modus Operandi,” in Pursuing the Just Cause of Their People: A Study of Contemporary Armenian Terrorism, (New York: Greenwood Press, 1986), pp. 67-87. Corsun also notes that Armenian radicals used 19 operational organizational names in their attacks. Corsun, “Armenian Terrorism: A Profile,” p. 33.

20. In an interview in 1975, Hagopian noted that Armenians gained priceless experience after they participated in the Palestinian Arab struggle since 1966. In Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, 72. Also see Moorad Mooradian, “Terrorists Speak: Interviews with ASALA Members,” Paul B. Henze Papers Collection, Box 154, Hoover Institution Library and Archives, p. 15.

21. Gunter, “Armenian Terrorism in the Twentieth Century,” p. 51.

22. Christopher Gunn, “Intra-or International Violence? The Origins of Armenian Terrorism,” Review of Armenian Studies, No. 25 (2012), pp. 103-115.

23. Laura Dugan, Julie Y. Huang, Gary LaFree, and Clark McCauley, “Sudden Desistance from Terrorism: The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia and Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide,” Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward Terrorism and Genocide, Vol. 1, No. 3 (2008), pp. 231-249.

24. For the announcements and communiqués of Armenian terrorists which were reported in “Voice of Lebanese Armenians Clandestine Radio Reports,” retrieved from CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP82-00850R000500070048-7; Also see, Mooradian, “Terrorists Speak.”

25. Gunter, “Armenian Terrorism in the Twentieth Century,” p. 65. As regards their targets, Hagopian mentioned that ASALA targeted the Turkish regime, NATO and reactionary Armenian forces. Michael M. Gunter, Pursuing the Just Cause of Their People: Armenian History and the Question of Genocide, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 41-55.

26. Mustafa Tayfun Üstün, “The History of the Armenian Community in Lebanon: From ‘Refugee Camps’ to ‘Neighbourhoods,’” Asia Minor Studies, Vol. 5 No. 9 (2017), pp. 93-108.

27. The CIA Report, “The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia: A Continuing International Threat,” (January 1984), retrieved from: Doc-No: CIA-RDP85T00283R000400030009-2. According to the same report, it also focused on recruiting young and poor Armenians to further the interests of exploited classes.

28. Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, p. 72; Michael M. Gunter, “JCAG/ARA,” Pursuing The Just Cause of Their People: Armenian History and the Question of Genocide, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 55-67.

29. About the diaspora money from Beirut to JCAG: Mooradian, “Terrorists Speak,” p. 22. Interestingly, the leader of JCAG, Abraham (Apo) Ashjian, was from the left-wing of the Dashnak party; however, JCAG itself was a right-wing terrorist organization. Gunter, “JCAG/ARA,” p. 61.

30. For the chronological list of terrorist attacks by Armenian groups see the CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85S00315R000200060002-3.

31. The CIA Report, “Global Terrorism: The Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide,” (September 1984), retrieved from: Doc-No: CIA-RDP85S00315R000200060002-3.

32. Dugan et al., “Sudden Desistance from Terrorism,” p. 235.

33. Eldad Ben Aharon, “Superpower by Invitation: Late Cold War Diplomacy and Leveraging Armenian Terrorism as a Means to Rapprochement in Israeli-Turkish Relations (1980-1987),” Cold War History, Vol. 19, No. 2 (2018), pp. 275-293.

34. Dugan et al., “Sudden Desistance from Terrorism,” pp. 236, 243. After the Orly attack, ASALA was divided into different groups, one of which was the ASALA-Revolutionary Movement which separated itself from Hagopian’s group; the other one was The Organization for the Reunification and Independence of Armenia (ORIA). While the former was under the leadership of Monte Melkonian settled in the Middle East, the latter one was under the leadership of Ara Toranian settled in France, retrieved from: CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP84-00893R000100270001-1.

35. Gunter, Pursuing the Just Cause of Their People, p. 64; Ashjian’s successor Sarkis Aznavourian was also killed by ASALA in Beirut; Dugan et al., “Sudden Desistance from Terrorism,” p. 236; After the terrorist attack to Turkish Embassy in Lisbon in 1983, the perpetrators (Setrak Ajamian, Ara Kuhrjulian, Sarkis Abrahamian, Simon Yahniyan and Vache Daghlian) were called as The Lisbon Five. See CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85S00315R000200060002-3.

36. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85T00283R000400030009-2.

37. Dugan et al., “Sudden Desistance from Terrorism,” p. 237; For details about operational pattern and figures about attack types of JCAG, retrieved from: CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85S00315R000200060002-3; Also see, Mooradian, “Terrorists Speak,” pp. 49-50.

38. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85T00283R000400030009-2.

39. Global Terrorism Database, retrieved from

40. Global Terrorism Database.

41. For all details about the modus operandi of JCAG attacks and an illustrative figure of the attack plan, please see the Doc-No: CIA-RDP85S00315R000200060002-3.

42. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85T00283R000400030009-2.

43. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85S00315R000200060002-3.

44. Merari classifies ASALA and JCAG within expressive terrorism in which the emotional realm dominates the rational realm in terms of motivations. See, Ariel Merari, “Terrorism as A Strategy of Insurgency,” Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 5, No. 4 (1993), pp. 213-251.

45. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP82-00850R000500070017-1.

46. Gunn claims that almost 14 members of ASALA were expected to be killed in intra-terrorist attacks. See, Christopher Gunn, “ASALA & ARF Veterans in Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Region of Azerbaijan,” IRS Karabakh, Vol.3, No. 35 (2018), pp. 48-57. For some examples of intra-violent attacks see, Francis P. Hyland, Armenian Terrorism: The Past, The Present, The Prospects, (Colorado: Westview Press, 1991), Appendix-A.

47. Christopher Gunn, “The Rise and Fall of ASALA and Armenian Revolutionary Federation Terrorism,” Review of Armenian Studies, No. 31 (2015), pp. 133-151.

48. Gunter, “JCAG/ARA,” p. 56.

49. S. State Department File, Case-No. F-2011-05101 Doc-No. C17681762.

50. For Melkonian’s life also see, Joseph E. Vorbach, “Monte Melkonian: Armenian Revolutionary Leader,” Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 6, No. 2 (1994), pp. 178-195.

51. S. State Department Files, Case-No. F-2013-03671 Doc-No. C05485813, Case-No. F-2013-03671 Doc-No. C05485790.

52. Markar Melkonian (ed.), The Right to Struggle: Selected Writings of Monte Melkonian on the Armenian National Question, (San Francisco: Sardarabad Press, 1993).

53. Gunter, Pursuing the Just Cause of Their People, pp. 89-122.

54. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP84-00893R000100370001-0.

55. The Security Council of the UN applied sanctions on Libya in 1992 (Resolution 731 and 748), on Sudan in 1995 (Resolution 1044 and 1054) and on the Taliban Administration of Afghanistan in 1998 (Resolution 1189, 1193, and 1214) due to their sponsoring of terrorism. Monika Heupel, “Adapting to Transnational Terrorism: The UN Security Council’s Evolving Approach to Terrorism,” Security Dialogue, 38, No. 4 (December 2007), pp. 477-499.

56. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP82-00457R002500110011-4.

57. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85T00283R000400070008-9.

58. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP90T00155R000200010009-2, CIA-RDP84-00893R000100230001-5, CIA-RDP85M00363R000901960025-4.

59. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85S00316R000200160005-8.

60. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100310004-9. The name Audran mentioned in the report is René Audran, a top-level officer of the French Defence Ministry, who was assassinated by a leftist terrorist group called Action Directe in 1985. Ernst Zimmerman, the second name in the report, was a German-businessmen with a close connection to the military who was assassinated by another leftist group called the Red Army Fraction. See, James M. Markham, “Top West German Arms Executive Is Assassinated,” The New York Times, (February 2, 1985), retrieved February 11, 2020, from

61. S. State Department File Case-No. F-2011-01588, “R091612Z Jun1980.”

62. Case-No. F-2013-03671 Doc-No. C05485792; Another telegram to the Embassy in Ankara notes that “Quainton said we were looking at the possibility of Soviet support for Armenian terrorism but that evidence was not conclusive.” Case-No. F-2011-05101 Doc-No. C17681479.

63. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP82-00850R000500070017-1.

64. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP88B00443R001704330038-6.

65. Robert M. Gates, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War, (New York: Touchstone Edition, 1997), pp. 203-205. The Soviet support for the Palestinian radicals is comprehensively analysed by Cline and Yonah through KGB documents; Ray S. Cline and Alexander Yonah, Terrorism: The Soviet Connection, (New York: Crane Russak, 1984).

66. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP09T00367R000200310001-2, DOC_0000518060, and CIA-RDP90T00155R000200050001-6.

67. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP09T00367R000200310001-2, DOC_0000518060 and CIA-RDP90T00155R000200050001-6.

68. Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, (Basic Books, 1999), pp. 384-392; Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive II: The KGB in the World, (Penguin Press, 2018), Chapter-13.

69. The CIA also adds that “Radicals of PLO Got also Financial and Material Aid from Libya,” Doc-No: CIA-RDP83B00851R000400160002-4.

70. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP87T00495R000100030004-3.

71. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP82-00850R000500070017-1.

72. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85T00283R000400030009-2; Also see the U.S. State Department File Case-No. F-2013-03671 Doc-No. C05485726. Kırlıkovalı also argues that ASALA members from Beirut and South Cyprus met Iranian intelligence officers in 1998 to reactivate ASALA terrorism. In Demirağcı, “Armenian Terrorism in America and Turkish-Americans, Interview with Ergün Kırlıkovalı,” p. 303.

73. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85S00315R000200060002-3.

74. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85T00283R000400030009-2.

75. S .State Department File, Case-No. F-2013-03671 Doc-No. C05485779.

76. Case-No. F-2013-03671 Doc-No. C05485739.

77. Hyland, Armenian Terrorism, p. 33.

78. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85T00283R000600030009-0.

79. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP90R00038R000300340001-5, CIA-RDP84-00893R000100370001-0, and CIA-RDP85S00315R000200060002-3.

80. A CIA document, referring to a newspaper item printed in the Washington Post on October 31, 1986, titled “French Foil Turks’ Hunt for Terrorist,” reports that French secret service refused to share the picture of Hagopian with the Turkish secret service, which was given to the French service by a top PLO leader called Salah Khalaf. Doc-No: CIA-RDP90-00965R000100110061-5.

81. As an illustration of the efforts of the FBI, see Doc-No: CIA-RDP87S00869R000200280002-3 and CIA-RDP85T00283R000600030009-0.

82. The same sentences are repeated in many memorandums and intelligence reports. For instance, see Doc-No: CIA-RDP86M00886R002900020025-5, CIA-RDP86M00886R001100010025-5, and CIA-RDP86T00303R000200240001-5.

83. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85M00363R000901960025-4, CIA-RDP84-00893R000100220001-6 and CIA-RDP84-00893R000100260001-2; For Melkonian’s threatening against France see, CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP84-00893R000100370001-0.

84. State Department Files, Case-No. F-2011-05101 Doc-No. C17681726, Case-No. F-2011-05101 Doc-No. C17681716, Case-No. F-2011-05101 Doc-No. C17681715, Case-No. F-2011-05101 Doc-No. C17681735.

85. State Department File, Case-No. F-2011-05101 Doc-No. C17681749.

86. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85T00283R000400030009-2. Tcharkhutian was an important figure because French judiciary authorities accused him of being a CIA agent who infiltrated into ASALA. For the newspaper print of the Los Angeles Times on August 11, 1983, see CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP90-00806R000100010021-6. For the secret deal between ASALA and France see, Heath W. Lowrey, “The French Connection: ASALA and The DST Background to Chaos,” Paul B. Henze Papers Collection, Box 154, (Hoover Institution Library and Archives).

87. The secret agreements reported in CIA documents are also noted in State Department Files. See, Case-No. F-2011-05101 Doc-No. C17681668, Case-No. F-2011-05101 Doc-No. C17681560, Case-No. F-2011-05101 Doc-No. C17681665.

88. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP85T00283R000400030009-2. A secret meeting between William Casey and top Turkish officers is also mentioned in a CIA report which refers to Jack Anderson’s radio program on WEAM Radio Mutual Network on January 10, 1983. See, Doc-No: CIA-RDP88-01070R000100520004-4.

89. Oleg Kuznetsov, “Armenia, Transnational Terrorism and Global Interest: What Do CIA and DoS Documents Suggest?” Caucasus International, 5, No. 2 (2015), pp. 35-52.

90. That partial information is recorded in the documents with the registration No: “OBZ-24113 MV and OBZ-38160 MV” titled “International terrorism,” “12876 I. S” titled “Terrorism” and “OBZ-901 MV” titled “Embassy of Turkey.”

91. Pavel Žáček “KGB a 17. Listopad (1989), Poslední Dohoda O Československo-sovětské Spolupráci V Kontrarozvědné Oblasti,” retrieved from A similar agreement between Czech and Hungarian authorities also mentions the fight against ASALA terrorism, retrieved from and

92. The original archival document retrieved from

93. CIA Doc-No: CIA-RDP87B00342R000400900005-0.

94. The decision of the court was reversed on May 26, 2020, by Gavin Newsom, Governor of California. However, this reversal was also vacated on February 2021 by Los Angeles Superior Court. See, “Turkish Diplomats Angered by Armenian Killer’s California Parole,” VOA News, (March 12, 2021), retrieved March 24, 2021, from


Labels »  

We use cookies in a limited and restricted manner for specific purposes. For more details, you can see "our data policy". More...