Carlos the Jackal, Al Qaeda Used to Hang Out in Bulgaria - Warsaw Pact DataDiplomacy | November 23, 2011, Wednesday // 14:51| views
Bulgaria's Deputy Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov (left) with the head of the Files Commission Evtim Kostadinov (right) at the "International Terrorism in the Documents of the Communist Secret Services" conference in Sofia. Photo by BGNES
Carlos the Jackal is among the most prominent international terrorists who entered Bulgaria prior to 1991, Bulgaria's Deputy Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov announced, citing data from the former Warsaw Pact intelligence data system, aka SOUD.
Vuchkov spoke at a conference in Sofia Wednesday entitled "International Terrorism in the Documents of the Communist Secret Services", during which he revealed details about Bulgaria's participation in the Interlinked System for Recognizing Enemies (SOUD) of the Warsaw Pact (in Russian: Sistema Objedinennovo Utschotya Dannych o Protivniki).
The intelligence agencies of the Warsaw Pact countries formed a single system which operated under the name Interlinked System for Recognizing Enemies. SOUD was an organization that provided databases which were accessible by member agencies, and operated radio communications channels to support this access. The members of SOUD were the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland and Vietnam.
Founded in 1977, SOUD became fully operational in 1979. The initial rationale for the foundation of SOUD was the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. The initial task for SOUD was to gather and store information about potential foreign hostile forces that might create problems for the USSR during the Olympics, globalsecurity.org points out.
SOUD gathered information on everyone and everything - including their own and foreign embassy personnel. SOUD databanks included files on agents, hostile organizations, journalists, diplomats, cultural and commercial attaches, representatives of airlines, and just about anyone or anything else that potentially qualified as a threat to the Soviet system.
By early 1990, Warsaw Pact's SOUD contained data about 200 000 people, Bulgaria's Deputy Interior Minister Vuchkov revealed Wednesday.
Bulgaria's Interior Ministry terminated its participation in SOUD in 1991, and froze the data base of the communist intelligence agencies, without using it to date.
Vuchkov stressed, as cited by BGNES, that the SOUD data base should be research in order to use the information from it for more efficient measures against international terrorism.
Bulgaria's Interior has already transferred the data it has from SOUD to the so called Files Commission, whose job is to make public the files from the so called State Security service (DS), the intelligence and secret police of the Bulgarian communist regime.
Bulgaria's Deputy Interior Minister pointed out that SOUD contains information indicating that a number of high-profile terrorists visited or stayed in Bulgaria before 1990, including Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, more widely known as Carlos the Jackal (whose trial just began in Paris), the assassin of Pope John Paul II Mehmet Ali Agca, as well as members of the Grey Wolves (Bozkurtlar in Turkish), the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Al Qaeda, the Italian Red Brigades, among others.
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