ATAA Remembers Victims of Armenian Terrorism
January 28, 1982 – Los Angeles, California
On January 28, 1982, two Armenian gunmen assassinated Turkish Consul General, Kemal Arikan, in his automobile while waiting at an intersection. JCAG claimed responsibility. One of the assassins, Hampig Sassounian, a 19-year-old Armenian American member of the JCAG, was arrested shortly thereafter. Sassounian’s father stated on public television, “I am glad that a Turk was killed, but my son did not do it.” Sassounian’s accomplice, believed to be Krikor Saliba, escaped to Beirut. Los Angeles police searched Sassounian’s automobile and seized a .357 caliber bullet and a one-way airline ticket from Los Angeles to Beirut. Police also searched Sassounian’s home, where they seized a gun receipt, pistol targets, and a manifesto of “The Armenian Youth Federation.” Although Sassounian pleaded not guilty, the Court convicted him of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Sassounian’s sentence was later changed to 25 years-life in an appeal agreement in which he finally confessed to the killing.
In March 2021, after serving nearly 40 years in prison and having been denied parole 5 times before, Armenian terrorist Hampig Sassousian was controversially granted parole and set free by the Los Angeles Superior Court. In late October 2021, terrorist Sassounian was extradited from the United States to Armenia.
The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) condemns these acts of violence against innocent individuals and remembers these tragedies with great sorrow and deliberation to bring the perpetrators and their supporters to justice.