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USDoS Terrorist Group Profile – Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA)

Marxist-Leninist Armenian terrorist group formed in 1975 with stated intention to compel the Turkish Government to acknowledge publicly its alleged responsibility for the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915, pay reparations, and cede territory for an Armenian homeland. Led by Hagop Hagopian until he was assassinated in Athens in April 1988. Initially, bombing and assassination attacks were directed against Turkish targets. Later attacked French and Swiss targets to force release of imprisoned comrades. Made several minor bombing attacks against US airline offices in Western Europe in early 1980S. Bombing of Turkish airline counter at Orly Airport in Paris in 1983–eight killed and 55 wounded–led to split in group over rationale for causing indiscriminate casualties. Suffering from internal schisms, group has been relatively inactive over past four years, although recently claimed an unsuccessful attack on Turkish Ambassador to Hungary. Full Story

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