Terrorism and the Soviet Union
|The neutrality of this article is disputed. (January 2015)|
At the height of the Soviet Union, communism and communist states were alleged to be a major inspiration for international terrorism. Violence in the form of 'communist fighting organizations' which operated in western Europe was seen as a threat by NATO and also by the Italian, German and British governments. There are allegations that these militant groups were supported by the Soviet Union.
Allegations of promotion of terrorist organizations
Soviet secret services have been described by GRU defectors Viktor Suvorov and Stanislav Lunev as "the primary instructors of terrorists worldwide" According to Ion Mihai Pacepa, KGB General Aleksandr Sakharovsky once said: "In today’s world, when nuclear arms have made military force obsolete, terrorism should become our main weapon." He also claimed that "Airplane hijacking is my own invention".
He claims that in 1969 alone, 82 planes were hijacked worldwide by the KGB-financed PLO. Lt. General Ion Mihai Pacepa described operation "SIG" (“Zionist Governments”) that was devised in 1972, to turn the whole Islamic world against Israel and the United States.
The following terrorist organizations have been established by the KGB: PLO, National Liberation Army of Bolivia (created in 1964 with help from Ernesto Che Guevara); the National Liberation Army of Colombia (created in 1965 with help from Cuba), Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1969, and the Secret Army for Liberation of Armenia in 1975. The leader of the PLO, Yasser Arafat, established close collaboration with the Romanian Securitate service and the Soviet KGB in the beginning of the 1970s. The secret training of PLO guerrillas was provided by the KGB. However, the main KGB activities and arms shipments were channeled through Wadie Haddad of the DFLP organization, who usually stayed in a KGB dacha BARVIKHA-1 during his visits to Russia. Led by Carlos the Jackal, a group of PFLP fighters accomplished a spectacular raid the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries office in Vienna in 1975. Advance notice of this operation "was almost certainly" given to the KGB.
A number of notable operations have been conducted by the KGB to support international terrorists with weapons on the orders from the Soviet Communist Party, including:
- Transfer of machine-guns, automatic rifles, Walther pistols, and cartridges to the Official Irish Republican Army by the Soviet intelligence vessel Reduktor (operation SPLASH) in 1972 to fulfill a personal request of arms from Michael O'Riordan.
- Transfer of anti-tank grenade RPG-7 launchers, radio-controlled SNOP mines, pistols with silencers, machine guns, and other weaponry to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine through Wadi Haddad who was recruited as a KGB agent in 1970 (operation VOSTOK, "East").
Cold war and terrorism
Large-scale sabotage operations have been prepared by the KGB and GRU against the United States, Canada and Europe, as alleged by intelligence historian Christopher Andrew in Mitrokhin Archive  and in books by former GRU and SVR officers Victor Suvorov and Stanislav Lunev, and Kouzminov. Among the planned operations were the following:
- Large arms caches were hidden in many countries for the planned terrorism acts. They were booby-trapped with "Lightning" explosive devices. One of such cache, which was identified by Mitrokhin, exploded when Swiss authorities tried to remove it from woods near Bern. Several others caches (probably not equipped with the "Lightnings") were removed successfully.
- Preparations for nuclear sabotage. Some of the hidden caches could contain portable tactical nuclear weapons known as RA-115 "suitcase bombs" prepared to assassinate US leaders in the event of war, according to GRU defector Stanislav Lunev. Lunev states that he had personally looked for hiding places for weapons caches in the Shenandoah Valley area and that "it is surprisingly easy to smuggle nuclear weapons into the US" ether across the Mexican border or using a small transport missile that can slip undetected when launched from a Russian airplane 
- Extensive sabotage plans in London, Washington, Paris, Bonn, Rome, and other Western capitals have been reveled by KGB defector Oleg Lyalin in 1971, including plan to flood the London underground and deliver poison capsules to Whitehall. This disclosure triggered mass expulsion of Russian spies from London 
- FSLN leader Carlos Fonseca Amador was described as "a trusted agent" in KGB files. "Sandinista guerrillas formed the basis for a KGB sabotage and intelligence group established in 1966 on the Mexican US border".
- Disruption of the power supply in the entire New York State by KGB sabotage teams, which would be based along the Delaware River, in the Big Spring Park.
- An "immensely detailed" plan to destroy "oil refineries and oil and gas pipelines across Canada from British Columbia to Montreal" (operation "Cedar") has been prepared, which took twelve years to complete.
- A plan for sabotage of Hungry Horse Dam in Montana.
- A detailed plan to destroy the port of New York (target GRANIT); most vulnerable points of the port were marked at maps.
According to Lunev, a probable scenario in the event of war would be poisoning of the Potomac River with chemical or biological weapons, "targeting the residents of Washington DC". He also noted that it is "likely" that GRU operatives have placed already "poison supplies near the tributaries to major US reservoirs."  This information was confirmed by Alexander Kouzminov, who was responsible for transporting dangerous pathogens from around the world for Russian program of biological weapons in the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s. He described a variety of biological terrorism acts that would be carried out on the order of the Russian President in the event of hostilities, including poisoning public drinking-water supplies and food processing plants. At the end of the 1980s, the Soviet Union "was the only country in the world that could start and win a global biological war, something we had already established that the West was not ready for.", according to Kouzminov.
- State-sponsored terrorism#Soviet Union
- Terrorism in Russia
- Communist terrorism
- Active measures
- Poison laboratory of the Soviet secret services
- Crozier, Brian, Political victory: the elusive prize of military wars, p. 203, Transaction Publishers, 2005
- Paoletti, Ciro (30 December 2007). A military history of Italy. Praeger Publishers. ISBN 978-0-275-98505-9.
- Stanislav Lunev. Through the Eyes of the Enemy: The Autobiography of Stanislav Lunev, Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1998. ISBN 0-89526-390-4.
- Viktor Suvorov Inside Soviet Military Intelligence, 1984, ISBN 0-02-615510-9.
- Viktor Suvorov Spetsnaz, 1987, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, ISBN 0-241-11961-8.
- Russian Footprints - by Ion Mihai Pacepa, National Review Online, August 24, 2006
- From Russia With Terror, FrontPageMagazine.com, interview with Ion Mihai Pacepa, March 1, 2004
- The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, pages 250-253
- The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, page 145
- KGB in Europe, page 502
- Operation was sanctioned personally by Leonid Brezhnev in 1970. The weapons were delivered by the KGB vessel Kursograf - KGB in Europe, pages 495-498
- Mitrokhin Archive, The KGB in Europe, page 472-476
- Victor Suvorov, Spetsnaz, 1987, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, ISBN 0-241-11961-8
- Alexander Kouzminov Biological Espionage: Special Operations of the Soviet and Russian Foreign Intelligence Services in the West, Greenhill Books, 2006, ISBN 1-85367-646-2 
- The KGB in Europe, page 475-476
- KGB in Europe, page 499-500
- The KGB in Europe, page 472-473
- The KGB in Europe, page 473
- The KGB in Europe, page 473-474
- Lunev, pages 29-30
- Kusminov, pages 35-36.