Incident Summary:

09/28/1978: Anthony Cikoja, a Yugoslavian immigrant, was shot and killed by three bullets from a car waiting outside his home on Sprain Valley Road, in Greenburgh, New York, a suburb of New York City near Scarsdale in the United States. Cikoja was on his way to his own car, when he collapsed on the front stoop. Croatian nationalists are suspected to be responsible for the incident because Cikoja had received a threat letter , three months prior to his murder, from a group calling itself the "Croatian Nationalist Army", demanding that he pay $5,000 by August towards the group's cause for independence, or otherwise he would be killed. He refused to pay the money. At least fifteen other Yugoslav immigrants in the metropolitan area had received similar letters.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:

New York


Location Details:
outside of residence on Sprain Valley Road in Greenburgh, New York, a suburb of New York City near Scarsdale

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Assassination
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity
Specific Description Anthony Cikoja, Yugoslav immigrant
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Handgun
Weapon Details
.38 caliber bullets
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information A group calling itself the Croatian Nationalist Army is suspected to be responsible for the assassination, but it is unclear whether or not the claim was confirmed. However, the letters sent to Yugoslav immigrants were signed by this group. Additionally, it is unclear whether the letters may have been sent by the Yugoslav secret police in efforts to discredit the Croatian separatist movement, as some American-Croatian community leaders believe to be the case. This incident is linked to the firebombing, about a week later, of a shop in Chicago, owned by an American of Croatian descent (197810040004) as well as the murder of another American of Croatian descent, Krizan Brkic, in California, who has also received a similar threatening letter (197811220002). In June of 1981, eight men were arrested and indicted on charges of racketeering and extortion, including the murders of Cikoja and Brkic, and several arsons. According to the indictments, the men were members of a Croatian organization called "Otpor," or Croatian National Resistance group that used terror and violence to extort money from individuals of Croatian origin living in the United States. A ninth man was later arrested and indicted as an associate of the other eight responsible for the abovementioned incidents. Those indicted included Mile Markic (the alleged leader of Otpor in the U.S.), Mile Boban (the alleged president of Otpor in North America), Ante Ljubas, Andjelko Jakic (former vice president of the New York chapter of the group), Ivan Misetic (former vice president of the Chicago chapter), Vinko Logarusic (leader of the Cleveland chapter), Ranko Primorac (leader of the Los Angeles chapter), Miro Biosic (treasurer of the L.A. chapter), and Drago Sudar (the associate of the other eight members of the group). An additional source: Arnold H. Lubasch, "8 Indicted as the Leaders Of Croatian Terror Group," New York Times, June 26, 1981.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Otpor (suspected) Unknown
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 8
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 1
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
The Associated Press, September 28, 1978.
Nicholas M. Horrock, "F.B.I. Is Studying Yugoslav Groups After a Murder and a Firebombing," New York Times, November 7, 1978.
"Chronology for Serbs in Croatia," Minorities at Risk Project, 2004.