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Cryptonym: BGFIEND

Definition:
This program, later known as OBOPUS (1949-58) was initially a joint US-British covert action program designed to overthrow the Soviet dominated regime of Enver Hoxha in Albania and evolved into establishing and exploiting National Committee for Free Albania (NCFA), propaganda media, infiltration agents, and economic warfare.
Status:
Documented
Sources:

CIA, Library Reading Room, OBOPUS BGFIEND VOL. 18 (BGFIEND OPERATIONS) (n.d)

This document states the objectives "assigned to the BGFIEND team" that includes the infiltration of Albania from Greece to set up a base. The team was instructed to wait for supplies and weapons to organize and arm locals. The objectives listing further revealed the Agency was collaborating with British Intelligence who also was infiltrating teams into the operation area. It additionally reveals despite orders not engage in violent interactions that would attract notice one British team killed a Communist official they determined to be a threat after wandering slightly off their prescribed route. https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/OBOPUS%20BGFIEND%20%20%20VOL.%2018%20%20%28BGFIEND%20OPERATIONS%29_0011.pdf

National Archives Research Aid: Cryptonyms and Terms in Declassified CIA Files Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Disclosure Acts

An official list of cryptonyms, pseudonyms, and related terms states BGFIEND "was initially a joint US-British covert action program designed to overthrow the Soviet dominated regime of Enver Hoxha in Albania and evolved into establishing and exploiting National Committee for Free Albania (NCFA), propoganda media, infiltration agents, and economic warfare. https://www.archives.gov/files/iwg/declassified-records/rg-263-cia-records/second-release-lexicon.pdf

James Callanan, "Covert Action in the Cold War: US Intelligence and CIA Operations", 2009, pp. 73,77, 78, 80

This book recounts later Cold War plans related to Cuban operations and has several mentions regarding Project BGFIEND. It affirms other related official assessments of these infiltration and psychological warfare efforts. However, the book further notes that later Cuban operations were designed with similar flaws to failed BGFIEND plans.

Contributors:
Bill Simpich • Carmine Savastano

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