Justice Commandos Against Armenian Genocide

Justice Commandos Against Armenian Genocide

Justice Commandos against Armenian Genocide (JCAG) was a guerrilla organization that operated in various western nations from 1975 to 1983. It sought the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Republic of Turkey and the establishment of an independent Armenia, to which end it conducted a campaign of assassinations targeting Turkish diplomats around the world. [Starving Armenians: America and the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1930 and After - Page 166 by Merrill D. Peterson] Sometimes this group has been linked to the Dashnaks. [cite book | last = Verluise | title = Armenia in Crisis: The 1988 Earthquake | publisher = Wayne State UniversityPress | pages = p. 143 | year = 1995 | id = ISBN 0814325270 ] Very little is known about the memberships of this group, their internal structures, or their relations with possible sponsor states or with other guerrilla organizationsFact|date=October 2007. What little is known about JCAG indicates that they were involved in factional disputes and internecine fighting in the mid-1980sFact|date=October 2007, which likely led to it being disbanded.Fact|date=October 2007

JCAG's activities were concentrated in European and North American countries targeting Turkish interests. [Geopolitical and Economic Changes in the Balkan Countries - Page 75by Nicholas V. Gianaris]


According to the Terrorist Knowledge Base (TKB), JCAG’s activities in the United States ended in 1983. Some sources report that Armenian Revolutionary Army (ARA) that began operating in 1983, was simply JCAG renamed. The last known attack by the ARA in North America was in 1985. Turkey claims that "Armenian terrorism still represents a threat against Turkish diplomatic targets abroad, and has encouraged foreign governments to take action against possible threats".

Timeline of attacks

According to National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT) website, there had been 23 incidents involving JCAG leaving at least 9 people dead, and 10 people injured. [http://www.tkb.org/Group.jsp?groupID=265 TKB Group profile - JCAG] ] Only attacks with fatalities are listed below:
* October 24, 1975 - Turkish Ambassador to France, İsmail Erez, was assassinated in Paris, France. His car's driver Talip Yener was also killed in the attack.

* June 9, 1977 - Turkey's Vatican Ambassador, Taha Carım, was assassinated in Rome, Italy.

* June 2, 1978 - Turkish Ambassador to Spain Zeki Kuneralp's car was attacked in Madrid, Spain. His wife Necla, the retired Turkish Ambassador Beşir Balcıoğlu and the Spanish driver Antonio Torres lost their lives. Zeki Kuneralp survived since he was not in the car.

* October 12, 1979 - Ahmet Benler, son of the Turkish Ambassador to the Netherlands Özdemir Benler was assassinated in the Hague, Netherlands. The attack was claimed at the same time also by the ASALA.

* December 22, 1979 - Turkish attaché for tourism in France, Yılmaz Çolpan, was assassinated in Paris, France.

* February 6, 1980 - Turkish Ambassador to Switzerland Doğan Türkmen was attacked in Bern, Switzerland. Türkmen escaped with minor wounds.

* December 17, 1980 - Sydney, Australia. "Two gunmen on a motorcycle shot and killed the Turkish consul- general and his bodyguard ... The consul, Sarik Ariyak, had received a death threat that day, and took it seriously enough to swap cars with his bodyguard. The motorcyclists opened fire on the bodyguard, then realizing they had not hit their intended target, caught up with Mr. Ariyak's fleeing car and fired several shots through the windshield, killing him instantly. No one was apprehended. In their phone call to the newspaper, the assassins said they would continue to attack Turkish diplomats and Turkish institutions." [ [http://www.tkb.org/Incident.jsp?incID=2763 TKB Incident profile about this attack] ]

* January 28, 1982 - Turkish consul general Kemal Arıkan was shot to death in his car as he sat at a stoplight in Los Angeles. Four people were taken into custody; Harry Sassounian, 19 at the time of the killing, was later convicted of first degree murder. The jury found that Sassounian killed Arikan "because of his nationality", leading to a sentencing of life in prison without possibility of parole. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9904E0D61639F935A25755C0A962948260] An accomplice, believed to be Krikor (Koko) Saliba, is still at large. [ [http://www.tkb.org/Incident.jsp?incID=3112 TKB Incident profile about this attack] ]

*May 4, 1982 - "Police sought the Armenian assassin who shot New England's honorary Turkish consul general in Sumerville, Massachusetts, Orhan Gündüz, whose import shop in Cambridge was the target of a previous attack, was shot by a man dressed in a jogger's outfit, as he sat in his car." [ [http://www.tkb.org/Incident.jsp?incID=3208 TKB Incident profile about this attack] ]

* June 27, 1982 - Turkish administrative attache, Erkut Akbay in Lisbon, Portugal, was assassinated outside his home on the outskirts of the city as he returned home for lunch. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C05E4DB1F38F93BA35755C0A964948260 Turkish Envoy in Lisbon Is Killed by Gunman] ] His wife, Nadide Akbay, was also shot in the head as she sat beside him. Nadide Akbay died after eight months in coma on January 11, 1983. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9507E6DA1338F932A25752C0A965948260 Turk Wounded in June Attack By Armenian Terrorists Dies] ]

* August 27, 1982 - Atilla Altıkat, Turkish military attaché in Canada was assassinated in Ottawa, Canada. [ [http://www.tkb.org/Incident.jsp?incID=201 TKB Incident profile about this attack] ]

*March 9, 1983. Yugoslavia - "Turkish Ambassador Galip Balkar died of wounds received when two gunmen shot him in an ambush in central Belgrade. An armed clash between the guerrillas and police ensued and one of the guerillas was wounded. Both guerrillas, who claim to belong to an Armenian paramilitary organization, were eventually apprehended. A Yugoslav passerby was killed during the clash, while a female student and a Yugoslav officer who was trying to capture the assailants were wounded. The Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide claimed credit for the attack." [ [http://www.tkb.org/Incident.jsp?incID=3486 TKB Incident profile about this attack] ]


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