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The Soviet Union and the United States

Rivals of the Twentieth Century: Coexistance and Competition

Edited By Eva-Maria Stolberg

The Soviet Union and the United States were involved in a complicate interplay of ideological, political, social and cultural factors, which wavered between open rivalry and cautious cooperation. Their relationship was fluctuating. Antagonism was accompanied with developing convergence. The main issue of this anthology is to discuss the attractiveness of polarity. Differing from Europe as well as from other parts of the world, both powers were provided with their history to expand their frontiers in the 19 th century. Territorial expansion and the discovery of new ideas and ideologies laid the foundation for their geopolitical hegemony in the 20 th century. International authoritative scholars from the United States, Switzerland and Germany give fresh insights in a new understanding of 20 th -century geopolitics.


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Adrian Hänni: Mastermind of Terror: The Soviet Union as the Leader of the International Terror Network


217 Adrian Hänni Mastermind of Terror: The Soviet Union as the Leader of the In- ternational Terror Network 1 The basis of the image that the Soviet Union controlled international terrorism, which formed a global network of linked terrorist groups, was laid by black propaganda2 operations conducted particularly in the 1970s by Western intelli- gence services, namely the CIA, SISMI, SDECE, MI6, Mossad and BOSS,3 which planted articles in (mainly) European newspapers, magazines, and jour- nals and which fed book authors.4 The propaganda products essentially claimed links between the Soviet Union, respectively the KGB, and one or several (al- leged) terrorist groups such as the African National Congress (ANC)5 or the Ital- ian Red Brigades. The covert actions also included two major disinformation campaigns. One launched in 1975 by the CIA, SDECE, MI6, and the Mossad created the myth that the Venezuelan terrorist “Carlos the Jackal” (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) was a KGB agent and “the most dangerous terrorist” (New York Times).6 The other one was a scheme led by the SDECE and its director Alex- 1 Adrian Hänni is a doctoral student at the Institute for Social and Economic History at Zurich University from which he receives a grant (Forschungskredit der Universität Zü- rich). A great thank goes to Prof. Dr. Philipp Sarasin for the coaching. 2 Black propaganda refers to falsely attributed propaganda intended to deceive the reader or listener as to the origin of the information, which may be true or...

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