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December 22, 2016
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August 20, 2010
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February 24, 1980
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Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/20: CIA-RDP90-00552R000606730010-0 ~,R f I c Af'i' w ,hz;D Oil F IGI~ ~~ WILMINGTON SUNDAY NEWS JOURNAL 24 February 1980 By JOE TRENTO WASHINGTON A,hit team of Cuban terrorists, involved.* in. at least a dozen : murders since- 1974, was recruited with Central Intelligence Agency help for the secret: police of. South-.Africa and. Chile,. a Sunday News Journal investigation has discovered....; The victims include Chilean exile leader. Orlando Letelier anda high-ranking South African official who ..uncovered a majorgovernment.'scandal: South Africa's Bureau for State Security (BOSS) and: its Chilean counterpart, called DINA, began hiring CIA-trained anti-Castro fanatics in 1973 to carry out -contract killings. Sunday News Journal reporters followed a chain of evidence that included weapons, gold coins, and pass- ports and other documents that linked the contract hit' team with South Africa's and Chile's secret'police. ;. The News Journal investigation included interviews with secret government witnesses now in hiding under false identities, with current and former South African and Chilean intelligence agents and with present and .former officials of. .the- CIA, the Justice and State De artments ; These sources say the CIA helped form the hit team by arranging introductions for operatives of BOSS and DINA to leaders of the Cuban nationalist movement in Miami and Union City, N.J. In return; DINA killed at least 17 agents of the Cuban Intelligence Service and BOSS provided information about Communist,activi- ties in Africa. FBI and Justice Department officials say. the CIA did not inform them that Cuban Nationalists-were receiv- ing arms, money or false passports even after the hit' team killed Chilean exile Letelier and an American in a -1976 Washington, D. C:; car bombing 't '4 The FBI has been hunting two Cuban Nationalists for the Washington assassinations-and is looking into how their, flight was financed and how?theyare linked to Omega?7:and ZERO,-two'Cuban Nationalist Movement groups claiming credit for a number of terrorist acts, including one of the assassination attempts. Justice-Department.and FBI. officials.say=privately .they.are incensed by the-lack-of. cooperation from. the ,CIA.In' the continuing probe of -.terrorism and, in the search for the missing Letelier murder suspects.. "We have professional killers, trained by one of our . agent famili ar with the case }; .! ; t ,t between the CIA, DINA and the, revealed CIA. involvement. in The known. victims of the hit team. include. Formei attempts on the' lives of foreign. Cubans explains why the CIA was { Chilean Gen. Carlos Prats and his wife, Cora, killed in leaders. reluctant to help track down Paz" an October. 1974 bombing in . Buenos Aires= Chilean = and Suarez, the two Cubans who .1 Minister of Defense Oscar Bonillo;blown up with five remain at large.: r: - "' other people,in a helicopter i .Chile,:ur.March" 1975 ?;Ronni Kapen Moffit and.Orlando Letelier who died inl the'September 1976-Wasbington, car, bombing..and1 _South African economist Robert Smitand hiswife_ who"'f were shot to death in Africa home in Novembt Another couple, Chi leader Bernardo Leight wife Ana, were seriousli an unsuccessful assn attempt in Rome in Octo The South African g that controlled BOSS is n power, and the new gov trying to solve the Smit The new government's in New York, Michael Spt "It is politically imperat. country to solve this Louis Le Gerang , bu minister of police, sai& investigation has expan seas because 'it "may' i international plot." Le Ge last week that he has two London exploring national connection." Spencer. told the'-Suns Journal that BOSS "had relationship with DINA and would exchange favors."- Spencer said BOSS was disbanded last year and reorganized as a -'less powerful National Intelligence Service. "I can only tell you that many of the former BOSS officials have gone" underground. The murder of the Smits has not been solved. Our gov- ernment has no idea of who did it, Spencer said. CIA sokesman Dl Pt a e e er o the Cuban nationals. , i 1 These lawyers say that the CIA was not required to give them any information not directly related to the I,ctelier bombing. . Ricardo -Canete, a protected wit- ness in the Letelier bombing, told the Sunday News Journal that Vir- gilio Pablo Paz and Dionisio Suarez;- the fugitives wanted in the Letelier killing, had been using CIA-supplied s n said that he could not discuss details can gold Krugerrands to live on . f of the relationship between the CIA while at large, . and other governments. "Sources ? Testifying under the carne of 1 and methods are something we just can't talk about, and that's what you are getting into." Juan Prado, press attache at the Chilean embassy in Washington, said he had no information about Carlos. Casado, Carete gave that`' information in secret to a grand any links and would not discuss the Letelier-Moffit killings were a CIA' matter further on the telephone. operation from the beginning. The Informed by the Sunday News Justice Department has insisted the Journal of the hit team's operations,. murders were plotted by agents of a member of the Senate Select Com- the Chilean government. mittee on Intelligence,: charged ,,The CIA started. working closely `_; with CIA oversight, said last week.'-: in 1960 with anti-Castro Cubans- .~ "Thus may have been an.attempt by. 'training them in Miami and Guate the CIA to-get around..the prohib mala before the Bay of Pigs inva ition? on assassinations. -The.. idea.. that they. turned 'in - intelligence sources who had been on their pay- rollis outrageous'" executive a presidential fury in March 1978, but did not- repeat it at the public trial. - The convicted Cubans defended -themselves by claiming that the' sion. The CIA also played a large' role in the overthrow of the Marxist .1 Allende government in Chile in A 1973. = FBI' and Justice Department sources ' said the relationship. Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/20: CIA-RDP90-00552 R000606730010-0