US/Foreign Assassinations since 1945

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Event.png US/Foreign Assassinations since 1945(assassination)
US Foreign Assassinations since 1945.jpg
Date 1945 - Present
Perpetrators US

The US government has carried out many foreign assassinations since 1945, also bombings and other efforts at "regime change".

Countries where the US has assassinated or attempted to assassinate a movement leader

The US has made more than 50 attempts to assassinate political party leaders according to William Blum in his 2003 book Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions since World War II, which is "far and away the best book on the topic" according to Noam Chomsky,[1] and "the single most useful summary of CIA history" in the opinion of former CIA officer John Stockwell.[2] All such operations are illegal, performed for undisclosed reasons by undisclosed people, and rarely if ever is a clear humanitarian benefit identifiable.

Date Country Details Disputed?
2011 Pakistan Osama Bin Laden. Killing of a captured man. No
2003 Iraq Saddam Hussein and his two sons. Two killings and a semi-judicial execution. Maybe
2002 Afghanistan Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Islamic leader and warlord Maybe
1993 Somalia Mohamed Farah Aideed, prominent clan leader. Failed attempt but he died later. Maybe
1991 Iraq Saddam Hussein, leader. Attempt to kill him? Maybe
1985 Lebanon Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Shiite leader (80 people killed in the attempt) Maybe
1984 Nicaragua The nine comandantes of the Sandinista National Directorate Maybe
1983 Nicaragua Miguel d'Escoto, Foreign Minister Maybe
1983 Morocco Gen. Ahmed Dlimi, Army commander Maybe
1982 Iran Ayatollah Khomeini, leader Maybe
Libya Muammar Qaddafi, leader, several plots and attempts upon his life Maybe
1976 Jamaica Michael Manley, Prime Minister Maybe
1976 Chile exiled Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier is blown up in Washington DC, part of Operation Condor with at least tacit US support  ?
1975 Zaire Mobutu Sese Seko, President. Maybe
1972 Panama General Manuel Noriega, Chief of Intelligence. Captured alive and been imprisoned ever since. Maybe
Panama General Omar Torrijos, leader Maybe
1970 Chile Gen. Rene Schneider, Commander-in-Chief of Army. Maybe
1970 Chile Salvador Allende, President unsuccesful US supported coup "Project FUBELT" No
1967 Bolivia Che Guevara, revolutionary leader. CIA-organized military operation ends in capture and execution by the Bolivian Army. Maybe
1965 -
France Charles de Gaulle, President Maybe
1965 Dominican Republic Francisco Caamaño, opposition leader Maybe
1965 Zaire President overthrown and replaced by Mobutu, see entry for 1961, deposing of Patrice Lumumba. No
1960s Cuba Raúl Castro, high official in government Maybe
1960s -
Cuba Fidel Castro, President, many attempts on his life including poisoned cigars. No
1963 South Vietnam Ngo Dinh Diem, President. Successful attempt to replace one puppet leader with another. Maybe
1963 Iraq The CIA supports the Ba'athists, including Saddam Hussein, in a coup in Iraq against the Qassim government.[3][4][5] No [6]
1961 Dominican Republic Gen. Rafael Trujillo, dictator since 1930 shot dead in 1961.[7][8] Yes
1961 Zaire In June 1960, Patrice Lumumba became the Congo's first prime minister after independence from Belgium. Calls for the nation's economic liberation and is branded a communist. Eleven days later, the mineral rich Katanga province, owned by Belgium and prominent Eisenhower administration officials, seceedes. Lumumba dismissed in September at the instigation of the United States, and in Jan 1961 assassinated at the request of Dwight Eisenhower. Several years of civil conflict and chaos end in the CIA backed deposing of President Joseph Kasavubu and the 1965 accession to power of the CIA linked Mobutu Sese Seko. Mobutu ruled and robbed the country for more than 30 years (a "kleptocracy") while the Zairian people lived in abject poverty. No
1961 Haiti Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, leader Maybe
Costa Rica José Figueres, President, two attempts on his life Maybe
1960 Iraq Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Kassem, leader Maybe
1959 Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk, leader. And again in 1963. And again in 1969. Maybe
1957 Egypt Gamal Abdul Nasser, President Maybe
1955 India Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister Maybe
1951 Iran Mohammed Mossadegh, Prime Minister No
1951 North Korea Kim Il Sung, Premier Maybe
1950s (mid) Philippines Claro M. Recto, opposition leader Maybe
1950s, 1962 Indonesia Sukarno, President Maybe
1950s China Prime minister Chou En-lai, several attempts on his life Maybe
1950s Germany CIA/Neo-Nazi hit list of more than 200 political figures in West Germany to be "put out of the way" in the event of a Soviet invasion Maybe
1949 Korea Kim Koo, opposition leader No

Recent Developments

The CIA has long had a policy of assassinating individuals for a mixture of reasons. Formerly, these attacks were covert, but increasingly, the US government is open about assassinating anyone whom it pleases. The official narrative, however, avoids the word assassination, preferring instead the euphemism "targeted killing". Attacks are being made on individuals or leaders of quite small groups who are post hoc designated "terrorists". Since 2011 there have been killings of nuclear technicians in Iran. Drones are proving increasingly effective at killing targets, and are even being programmed to make autonomous decisions about whom to kill.

See also


Related Document

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TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpowerbook2000William BlumA critical examination of United States foreign policy during and following the Cold War


  3. A Tyrant 40 Years in the Making New York Times, March 14 2003.
  4. The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq Princeton University Press. 1978.
  5. Iraq Since 1958 Peter and Marion Sluglett. 1990.
  6. Regarding the CIA's "Health Alteration Committee's work in Iraq, see U.S. Senate's Church Committee Interim Report on Assassination, page 181, Note 1.
  7. Report: Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders History Matters website.
  8. Church Committee Report - Trujillo
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