Croatian National Resistance (Croatian: Hrvatski narodni otpor,
HNO), also referred to as Otpor, was an Ustaša organization founded
in the aftermath of the Second World War in Spain. The HNO ran a
terrorist organisation, Drina, which continued to be active well into
The organization operated between legitimate emigre functions and a
thuggish underworld. Its leaders tried to distance the organization
from the acts of the so-called renegade elements. It embraced a
radical nationalist ideology that differed only marginally from
The HNO had stated, in their constitution, that:
Yugoslavism and Yugoslavia as the greatest and only evil
that has caused the existing calamity... We therefore consider every
direct or indirect help to Yugoslavia as treason against the Croatian
nation... Yugoslavia must be destroyed—be it with the help of the
Russians or the Americans, of Communists, non-Communists or
anti-Communists—with the help of anyone willing the destruction of
Yugoslavia: destroyed by the dialectic of the word, or by
dynamite—but at all costs destroyed.
The organization published its own magazine, Drina. It existed
3 Terrorist attacks
4 See also
During WWII, Croatia was able to become an independent nation, called
Independent State of Croatia
Independent State of Croatia (NDH). During this time, the Croatian
Leadership was under the
Ustasha political party and, was headed by
Ante Pavelić. The NDH was supported by the axis powers and
participated in the creation and use of concentration camps. While
they used anti-semetisim to align with the values of the Axis powers,
their true goal for the nation was to drive out all Bosnian-Serbs.
It is thought that the various war crimes committed during these times
is what spurred the anti-Croat sentiment within Serbian
populations. After WWII Yugoslavia became a socialist country.
With the use of propaganda, Yugoslavia portrayed the Croat diaspora
population a group of fascist terrorist with no greater goal than to
destroy the state. While this view of the Croat diaspora population
was largely slanted, it did describe a small number of loosely
organized groups which were in line with the Ustashe, the
ultra-nationalist terrorist group founded by Ante Pavelić.
Otpor existed for over three decades, and while it never had more than
a few thousand members worldwide, it linked a variety of notable
Croatian nationalists. Otpor branches on four continents at times
splintered, notably the Argentinian one under the leadership of Dinko
Šakić. Šakić had lived in Argentina between 1947 and 1956, and
then between 1959 and 1998.
The HNO was banned in
Germany in 1976 because of their links to
Zvonko Bušić and others.
In 1991, a former leader of Otpor joined the Croatian Ministry of
Defence and used his underground connections to try to obtain weaponry
at the time the
Croatian War of Independence
Croatian War of Independence was starting. In
August 1991, the
U.S. Customs Service
U.S. Customs Service arrested four members of Otpor
from Chicago for attempting to procure illegal weapons, including
anti-aircraft missiles, and ship them to Croatia.
Ante Pavelic was the leader of the Independent State of Croatia, NDH,
from 1941 to 1945. After escaping from Europe for war crimes committed
during WWII, he spent some time in Australia before relocating to
Argentina with the majority of the remaining NDH leadership and
between and estimated 5,000 to 15,000 Ustashe sympathizers. He
established the Croatian Liberation Movement- HOP in Buenos Aries.
Dinko Sakic was in charge of the Argentinian faction in the 1970s. He
was extradited to Croatia in 1999 for war crimes committed during WWII
and was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison.
Maks Luburic was one of Pavelic's Lieutenants during WWII. Maks
broke splintered into his own group, Otpor-HNO in 1955. This split was
apparently due to the fact that Pavalic was willing to give up some
historically Croatian land in exchange to reestablish an independent
Croatia The working relationship between the two men was a
long-standing one, beginning in the 1930s with the Ustashe
movement. In 1969, Luburić was assassinated by the Yugoslav secret
police the UDBA.
A number of attacks against Yugoslavia were organized by the Ustasha
emigration, including the 1971 killing of ambassador Vladimir Rolović
Miro Barešić and Anđelko Brajković.
Otpor has taken credit for two murders associated with their group and
is suspected of one more according to the Global Terrorism Database
(GTD). All three incidents occurred in 1978 in the US within months of
each other. The first attack was against Anthony Cikoja on September
28, 1978. Cikoja was a Yugoslavian immigrant, shot and killed by
someone in a car waiting outside his home in Greenburgh, New York.
This attack happened three months after Cikoja had received a letter
from the "Croatian Nationalist Army", demanding a payment of $5,000
towards the cause for independence. The letter also threatened death
if he refused. At least 15 other Yugoslav immigrants within the area
had received similar letters.
The next incident attributed to Otpor is a firebombing on October 4,
1978. Daniel Nikolic, a Croatian-American businessman, received a
letter similar to the one given to Cikoja, demanding money. When he
did not respond, his cabinet business was firebombed.
The third and final incident reported in the GTD was on November 22,
1978. This incident was similar to Cikoja in that the target, Krizan
Brkic, also received an extortion letter demanding that he contribute
money towards the cause for independence. He was shot and killed
outside his home in Glendale, California.
While these are the only attacks reported in the GTD, this does not
mean that these incidents were the only attacks perpetrated by the
group. It has been suggested that Optor often hire people unrelated to
the group to carry out attacks from their headquarters in Chicago.
The primary targets of these attacks are Yugoslavian travel agencies
and diplomatic facilities. Book bombs, or books hollowed out with
explosive centers, were the weapon of choice for Otpor.
Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood
^ Janke, Peter (1983). Guerrilla and Terrorist Organizations: A World
Directory and Bibliography. Macmillan. p. 113.
^ Hockenos 2003, p. 23.
^ Bellamy, Alex J. (2004). The Formation of Croatian National
Identity: A Centuries-Old Dream?. Manchester University Press.
p. 93. ISBN 0-7190-6502-X.
^ Conflict Studies, Issues 103-117, Current Affairs Research Service
^ Grubisa, Damir (January 14, 1989). "Yugoslavia Ad Came From Nazi
Terrorists". The New York Times.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hockenos, Paul (2003). Homeland Calling:
Exile Patriotism and the Balkan Wars. Ithica, NY: Cornell University.
pp. 23, 73.
^ Hockenos 2003, p. 69.
^ Hockenos 2003, pp. 71-72.
^ Hockenos 2003, p. 71.
^ a b Hockenos 2003, pp. 88-89.
^ Sremac, Danielle S (1999). War of Words: Washington Tackles the
Yugoslav Conflict. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group.
p. 68. ISBN 978-0-275-96609-6.
^ McCormick, Robert (2014). Croatia Under Ante Paveli: America, the
Ustase and Croatian Genocide. London: Tauris. pp. Ch. 6.
^ a b c "Global Terrorism Database". 2017-04-27.
^ a b Wolf, John (1989). Antiterrorist Initiatives. New York: Plenum
Press. p. 30.
Hockenos, Paul (2003). Homeland Calling: Exile Patriotism and the
Balkan Wars. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
Croatian political parties during SFR Yugoslavia (1945–1991)
League of Communists of Croatia
League of Communists of Croatia (SKH)
Croatian Democratic Union
Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)
Croatian Peasant Party
Croatian Peasant Party (HSS)
Croatian National Resistance (HNO)
Croatian Liberation Movement
Croatian Liberation Movement (HOP)
Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood (HRB)
Croatian National Council (HNV)
Croatian Republican Party (HRS)