Terrorist revolt charged
San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, October 20, 1974, p. 28 Section A
United Press International
BELGRADE Yugoslav authorities said yesterday a group of Croat nationalists now facing trial had planned a full-scale terrorist campaign with outside help to achieve secession of Croatia from Yugoslavia.
The public prosecutor of the Adriatic coast town of Zadar, where the group was allegedly based, said its members had laid plans to kill Communist officials, blow up industrial and military installations, burn forests and destroy public property.
The prosecutor said the group, numbering 16, called itself the Croatian Liberation Army and followed the program of the World War II, Fascist-type separatist Croatian Ustashi organization which still exists in exile in several countries.
"They obtained arms and explosives from abroad and had financial backing from foreign countries and inside Yugoslavia," his statement said.
The trial on secession charges is scheduled for next month and the defendants face penalties from five years in prison to death.
The group, which includes professors, students and workers, supported the 1970-71 movement toward greater autonomy for Croatia that brought the country close to civil war. Conflict was averted largely through the personal authority of President Tito, himself a Croat.
In 1973 a group of some 20 young Ustashi commandos was wiped out by Yugoslav police 140 miles northeast of Zadar after infiltrating the country from Australia where the Ustashi found support among Yugoslav emigres.