NEW YORK (Dec. 12)
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) thwarted a major assassination attempt against “a head of state of a friendly government” by terrorists 24 hours before it was due to be carried out, Ray Clirie, former CIA deputy director, disclosed today. He declined to identify the head of state, saying only “it was a woman” and that the assassination attempt was made “a while ago” in New York. It was understood, however, that he referred to former Israel Premier Golda Meir who visited New York a few times during her premiership.
Cline made the disclosure in the course of a symposium on terrorism held by the Institute for Studies in International Terrorism and the Ralph Bunche Institute on United Nations at the New York City office at the State University.
The former CIA official warned that the present terrorist crisis in Iran is not “an accident.” He said it is part of a larger pattern of Soviet strategy in the Mideast and Africa which supports terrorism in order to destroy U.S. influence in the Mideast and, as a result, cut American access to energy and other resources of the area.
For that purpose; Cline said, the Soviet Union has been using the Palestine Liberation Organization and “other terrorist organizations,” supplying them with weapons and other forms of support. Soviet support of international terrorism “is a form of warfare” against the West, Cline charged.
Yonah Alexander, an expert on terrorism and director of the Institute for Studies in International Terrorism, warned that the implications of the Iranian crisis bode ill for the future. He said future terrorism will “be much more costly” and the terrorists will be using sophisticated technology, including the possible use of nuclear biological and chemical weapons.