Soviets Finance Terror--Agca

Associated Press

Papal assailant Mehmet Ali Agca testified today that he was trained in terrorism in Syria by Bulgarian and Czechoslovak experts, and said that the Soviet Union is the center of international terrorism.

It was the first time the Soviet Union had been mentioned in the two-week-old trial of three Bulgarians and five Turks, including Agca, for complicity in the shooting of Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981.

Agca, who two years ago said the Soviet and Bulgarian secret services were behind a plot to kill the Polish-born Pope, also began linking other Turks with Bulgaria.

Trained in Syria


“In 1977, I was in Syria, in Latakia, where I was trained with a group of friends, Gray Wolves, by Bulgarian and Czechoslovak experts,” he said in court. The Gray Wolves were right-wing Turkish terrorists.

“The camp was a training center for international terrorism,” he said. “This camp was under the control of the Syrian secret service.”

Then, turning to face the courtroom, he raised his voice and said, “I affirm with certainty that the political and financial center of international terrorism is the Soviet Union.”

Before testifying, Agca told photographers and camera crews: “I am Jesus Christ; I proclaim the end of the world.” Last week he twice disrupted proceedings with similar statements.