Armenian terrorism - PART 1
The end of the XX century was marked by the highest degree of activity of the Armenian terrorist organizations, such as the "Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia" (ASALA, established in 1975 in Beirut), "Avengers for Armenian Genocide" (established in 1973), "Group of June 9" (established in 1991 in Switzerland), "Suicide Squadron" (established in 1981 in France), terrorist activities of which was directed at the implementation of goals and demands of the Armenian political parties "Dashnaktsutyun", "Hnchak", "Ramkavar", namely:
The recognition by Turkey, as a successor state to the Ottoman Empire, of the "genocide" of Armenians.
The return by Turkey to the Armenian people of their "historic motherland".
Reimbursement by the government of Turkey of the material compensation for the "genocide".
The recognition of the "genocide" and territorial rights of the Armenians by governments of all countries of the world(13).
In order to draw the attention of the international public to the so-called problem of the "genocide of Armenians", the Armenian terrorist organizations tried to justify their terrorist activities by the struggle for the liberation of the motherland. "If we describe our goal as the recognition of the genocide, then it`s quite natural that our movements will be conceived as an act of revenge. But if we clearly declare that our main goal is the liberation of our motherland, then the public opinion will not conceive our cause as an attempt to take revenge"(14).
The "liberation of the motherland" was supposed to be achieved by means of terror against innocent people all over the world. In his letter to Thomas O`Neil, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives of the US Congress, the former US Secretary of State George Schultz noted that "more than 50 Turkish diplomats and US citizens were killed by terrorists seeking the adoption of the accusation of the Turkish people in the organization of the genocide. These terrorists killed those Americans who cast doubts on the accusations in genocide"(15).
Armenian terrorist organizations act in cooperation with other terrorist and criminal groupings. The following facts could be treated as an example:
Involvement of the Armenian terrorist Hagop Hagopian in the massacre of the Israeli athletes during 1972 Munich Olympics, committed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorists;(16)
A declaration on the cooperation between PKK and ASALA in fight against Turkey was adopted on April 6, 1980 in Lebanon;(17)
Support by ASALA to the actions of the organization "Jihade-Islami", which blew up the barracks of the US marines in Beirut;(18)
Ties with the drugs baron Carlos, who in an interview to the Spanish TV said: "We have connections to the Armenian terrorist organizations. We help each other and closely cooperate".(19)
Armenian terrorist Monte Melkonian maintained contacts with the representative of the organization "Fatah" Abu-Nabil, whose mission consisted of the conduct of terrorist acts in Beirut with the attraction of the Armenians. Abu-Nabil`s activities were to recruit and to use the Armenians in favour of the organization "Fatah" under the personal guidance by Yasser Arafat. Regardless of their party membership, Armenians cooperated with the "Fatah";(20)
In 1981 the Swedish police arrested a group of Armenian drug smugglers connected with the Armenian terrorists. "ASALA" repeatedly threatened the Swedish government demanding the release of the smugglers;(21)
Explosions organized in 1986 in Paris with the help of Abu Nidal with the aim to compel French authorities to release two Middle Eastern terrorists together with the Armenian terrorist Garabedian;(22)
At the Second International Conference of solidarity with the Armenian people, which was held on April 20, 1986 in Greece Bassam abu-Salim on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, headed by Georges Habash, made a public statement: "Doors of our camps are always open to the Armenian freedom fighters";(23)
Joint exercises of PKK and ASALA fighters in Trodos mountains, Cyprus, with the assistance of military advisers of Abu Nidal;(24)
Referring to the "Mossad", the BBC broadcast that Georges Habash, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, characterized operations conducted by ASALA and PKK as "extremely racist, extremely nationalist and fascist ones". Habash expelled from his camp those ASALA terrorists who were involved in drug trafficking;(25)
A meeting of ASALA and PKK representatives was held in northern Iraq, during which ASALA representatives preconditioned the continuation of the support to PKK by toughening the activities of the latter;(26)
Identification by the terrorist organization "Hezbollah" of Stefan Nicolian, the pilot of the "Cessna" airplane, who violated Israeli air space and was shot down by the Israeli Air Forces(27). It should be mentioned that as far back as in 1987 the Israeli Intelligence Service "Mossad" advised the Turkish Secret Police to carefully follow the developments in connection with the establishment of a close cooperation between ASALA and "Hezbollah";(28)
The fact that the occupied territories of Azerbaijan are used by international terrorists and narco-mafia for production of narcotics, as well as a transit route for drug-trafficking are proved by the clash of interests of the international terrorist Monte Melkonian and those of the local Mafia bosses, as a result of which M.Melkonian ordered to burn cannabis plants;(29)
PKK and ASALA finance their activities by transporting Anatolian and Central Asian opium in collaboration with Afghan drug barons in Afghanistan and Pakistan.(30)
Armenian terrorist organisations, cooperating with militant terrorist groups, were indiscriminate in the selection of their victims, not confining their violence to the Turks. The Americans, the Portuguese, the Swedish, the Canadians, the French, the Australians, and hundreds of representatives of other nationalities, who didn`t favour their appeals, also became their victims.
A special attention should be paid to the connections with the terrorist organization "Al-Qaida" headed by Ussama bin Laden. These ties have been studied in detail by R.Novruzoglu and Y.Oguz. They note, in particular, that Lella Bagdasarian, a native of Armenia, fought in Karabakh in the women`s sniper group of ASALA. In 1994 she moved to France. In 1999 she converted to Islam and headed the French branch of "Al-Qaida". Argun Israelian from Khankendi participated in the massacre of Azerbaijanis in Khojaly. In 1995 he moved to Syria where he was elected deputy chairman of the Washington branch of the "Al-Qaida" at the meeting with the ASALA participation. Michel Sarkissian, a native of Sumgayit, headed the "Sassun" branch and took part in the killings of Azerbaijanis in Karabakh. Since 1999 he headed the Cyprus branch of the ASALA. Since 2002 he has been working in the analytical office of the "Al-Qaida".(31)
On May 4, 2000 the branch of the "Vadi al-Qaid" company, belonging to Ibrahim bin Laden, opened in Yerevan. The company paid for the study of 9 Afghan students at the Yerevan University in 1994-2000, who were given the membership cards of the military brigade 005. The brigade has its branches in London, Yerevan, Paris, Washington, Teheran, Cologne, Russia, Argentina, Brazil, Georgia and is directly financed by Ussama bin Laden.(32)
At first glance sufficiently close ties of the Armenian terrorism with radical Islamic terrorist organizations can cause astonishment and raise questions. But the article published in the Paris-based Armenian newspaper "GAMK" contains a rather open answer, which deserved to be thought over:(33)
"There are American and NATO bases in Turkish Armenia. Therefore, the United States will oppose and fight any force that tries to upset the stability of that region and to change the status quo. In other words, to liberate the Armenian lands we will have to deal not only with the Turkish government but also the Atlantic Alliance and the United States.… A weakened NATO and a weakened United States would make it easier to liberate the Armenian lands… and would help free the Third World from the yoke of American imperialism".
Thus, the above-mentioned facts confirm that the Armenian terrorism is an integral part of international terrorism and transnational organized crime.
The Support of International Terrorism by the Republic of Armenia
Armenian terrorist organizations are powerful structures with respective units, equipment and information data. It is impossible to have and use all this on criminal purposes without state support. Armenian terrorist organizations enjoy a full support of the Republic of Armenia. The following facts could be used to prove it:
The former President of Armenia L.Ter-Petrossian interceded with the President of France for review of the sentence passed on Varuzhan Karapetian, one of the terrorists responsible for the terrorist act at the Paris Airport "Orly", where six people died, including a US citizen. After being discharged, V.Karapetian was received as a national hero in his homeland. Prime Minister of Armenia Andranik Markarian and a number of other officials of the Republic of Armenia characterized the activities of the terrorist as "patriotic ones";(34)
Despite the efforts of the former President of Armenia L.Ter-Petrossian to suspend the activities of the "Dashnaktsutyun", having accused it of maintaining within this Party a secret terrorist service "DRO", involved in international drug business and illegal economic activities;(35)today members of this party are represented in the Government of Armenia. In particular, the minister of education and science Levon Mkrtchian and minister of culture, youth and sports Roland Sharoyan, who are members of the "ARF-Dashnaktsutyun" party. If one takes into account that one of the advisors to president is the ARFD leader Vahan Ohanessian, and another member of this party Hrayr Karapetian became the governor of the Aragatsotn marz (district), then one can claim that the organization, which under the previous leadership was in disfavour, "came to power";(36)
In July 1998 Abdulla Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdish terrorist organization PKK, demanded that the leadership of the Republic of Armenia place at his organization`s disposal a camp on the territory of Armenia;(37)
Downstream of the PKK, the Kurdistan Popular Liberation Army (ARGK), under the command of Cemil Bayik, leads the armed struggle in Turkey. ARGK, which the PKK developed during the course of the war, has now, according to A.Ocalan, 15000 fighters, including 4000 women. The militants are rather young and little or not educated: workers, peasants, unemployed. They are recruited sometimes voluntarily, sometimes not and trained at the guerilla in the Party`s camps abroad, namely, in the uncontrolled zone, north of Iraq, in Iran or at the confines of Armenia and Azerbaijan.(38)
In 2000-2001 according to court decision 16 PKK members, who tried to go from Iran through Azerbaijan to Armenia and back, were imprisoned.(39)
on May 9, 2002 the government of the United States of America charged some enterprises of Armenia for the fine because of the sale of equipment and technology to Iran, what violates Act of 2000 on Iran about non-proliferation.(40)
It is hard to believe that these enterprises acted without the knowledge of the Armenian government.
All this is by no means a complete list of facts confirming the support of the Republic of Armenia to international terrorism.
There are a lot of states in the world, which pursue the policy of granting asylum and justifying terrorism, create all conditions for terrorists to have a rest and receive medical treatment, provide them political cover after they commit terrorist acts in other states, encourage dirty information campaigns aimed at justifying terrorism. Still more dangerous are the attempts to create an image of "national heroes", "fighters for the just cause" for terrorists, favouring the upbringing of the younger generation in the spirit of terrorist struggle traditions. One of such states is the Republic of Armenia which pursues the state policy for the rehabilitation of the international Armenian terrorist group activists, who have committed explosions in the 70s-80s at the "Orly" airport and at the Moscow underground, assassinations of Turkish diplomats in Switzerland and Greece, seizure of Turkish embassy in Paris and a number of other crimes.(41)