l> Croatian National Resistance
The Info List - Croatian National Resistance

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The 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 1970s.[1] 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 Ustaše ideology.[2] The HNO had stated, in their constitution, that:[3][4]

[We] regard 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.[5] It existed until 1991.


1 History 2 Leadership 3 Terrorist attacks 4 See also 5 References 6 Sources

History[edit] During WWII, Croatia was able to become an independent nation, called the 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.[6] 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.[6] It is thought that the various war crimes committed during these times is what spurred the anti-Croat sentiment within Serbian populations.[6] After WWII Yugoslavia became a socialist country.[6] 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.[6] 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.[6] 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.[7] Otpor branches on four continents at times splintered, notably the Argentinian one under the leadership of Dinko Šakić.[8] Šakić had lived in Argentina between 1947 and 1956, and then between 1959 and 1998. The HNO was banned in Germany
in 1976 because[6] of their links to Zvonko Bušić and others.[9] 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.[10] 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.[10][11] Leadership[edit] 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.[6] He established the Croatian Liberation Movement- HOP in Buenos Aries.[6] 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.[6] Maks Luburic was one of Pavelic's Lieutenants during WWII.[6] 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[12] The working relationship between the two men was a long-standing one, beginning in the 1930s with the Ustashe movement.[6] In 1969, Luburić was assassinated by the Yugoslav secret police the UDBA. Terrorist attacks[edit] A number of attacks against Yugoslavia were organized by the Ustasha emigration, including the 1971 killing of ambassador Vladimir Rolović by Miro Barešić
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.[13] 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.[13] 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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[14] See also[edit]

Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood


^ Janke, Peter (1983). Guerrilla and Terrorist Organizations: A World Directory and Bibliography. Macmillan. p. 113. ISBN 0-02-916150-9.  ^ 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 Centre, 1979 ^ 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. ISBN 978-0-8014-4158-5. 

v t e

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


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) Croatian Patrio


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