The ‘Spectre’ of ANCA: The Shell, The Shill – İnternational Policy Digest
By Noah Ross
Literally granting themselves the moniker as one of the “…largest and most influential grassroots political organizations,” the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is, like most NGOs peddling influence in Washington, not what it appears to be; however unsurprising as this is, what is startling is that this apparatus of the ‘swamp,’ is in this case posing a much more existential threat to U.S interests, its political stability and even its national security. Moreover, there is much to suggest its strings may be being pulled from Moscow.
The ANCA proudly boasts lieutenants who have criminal records ranging from convictions on coercion, assault and allegedly, terrorism, together fomenting disruption as called on from the Kremlin and forming a Spectre-like cadre operating unabated to this day.
Take for example, Mourad Topalian. The Armenian National Committee of America included Topalian prominently in recent meetings with Members of Congress, this according to ANCA press releases and other Armenian web sites; Topalian no doubt played a major role as part of an ANCA-Western Region delegation’s visit to Capitol Hill.
Topalian is also a felon.
In the indictment on record, Federal authorities connected Topalian to at least four terrorist attacks on U.S. soil: the October 12, 1980 bombing at the U.N. Plaza in New York City; the June 3, 1981 bombing at the Anaheim Convention Center in Los Angeles; the November 20, 1981 bombing of the Turkish Consulate building in Beverly Hills; and finally, the October 22, 1982, attempted assassination of the Turkish Honorary Consul in Philadelphia.
In 2000, ANCA saw it fit to present Mourad Topalian with the “Freedom Award” for his “dedication to advancing the Armenian cause,” praising his “unique brand of leadership in driving forward and promoting Armenian history and the cause of the Armenian nation.”
Criminals like Topian can operate with their reputations wiped clean and reshaped by way of ANCA affiliation, a brand endorsed strongly by Russian propagandists Russia Today (RT), a broadcasting house led by Armenians Margarita Simonyan and Andranik Migranyan. These “Kremlinologists” are purported to be in full support of the Armenian lobby ANCA and through their broadcasting house, buttress ANCA, works to perpetuate political disruption and undermine U.S. national security interests in pursuit of Armenian goals (which include the removal of Armenia from the Department of Homeland Security list under the George W. Bush Administration in the early 2000’s and not sanctioning Armenia for selling weapons to Iran to kill American soldiers in Iraq in the late 2000’s).
Margarita Simonyan, in particular, in her activities in support of ANCA’s ‘Spectre’ and at the helm of RT, has been subject to thorough investigations by the U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) at the commencement of this year alone. The ICA briefing even included a picture Simonyan used on her own Talk Show of her as a cartoon character stepping over The White House. Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian awarded the ‘Movses Khorenatsi Medal’ to Simonyan, a Russian citizen born in Russia, “…for her significant contribution in the development of journalism and high professionalism” in 2010. This adds to the medal she previously received from Vladimir Putin.
In 2016, Russian newspaper Izvestia, owned by an Armenian media magnate Gabriye lyanov, quoted Simonyan on the “…fiscal constraints of Western media and effectiveness of RT.” Armenian filmmaker Tigran Khemalyan pointed out that Simonyan was a “true pillar of the Putin regime” and if one is inclined to conspiracy theories, they would to constitute her present role as what might appear to be “close association with an Armenian influence lobby [tasked by] and collaborating with the Kremlin.”
However, Ms. Simonyan, her Russia Today and Armenia’s lobbying syndicate present collusion is not actually news (and certainly not ‘fake news’). There is a rich history of ethnic Armenians at the service of Russian intelligence services, many operating under the veils of the NGO community in the U.S., a history which I will probe and document in the future.
The ‘Spectre’ of ANCA: The Shell, The Shill