UDBA – secret police of the former Yugoslavia

The Yugoslavian secret police UDBA

UDBA was an acronym for The National Security Agency of former Yugoslavia. This agency, notorious secret police during the second Yugoslavia, was created in 1946 after the reorganization of OZNA and  operated under that name until the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. With the number of informants was used as a mean of intimidation and terror against dissidents and critics of the regime. Today in Serbia, operates reorganized agency called the Security and Information Agency (BIA).

Origin and task

UDBA was formed in March 1946 after the reorganization of OZNA, service  under whose supervision and coordination many  crimes were committed after the Second World War. During 1966, UDBA was renamed the State Security Service. As a civilian counter-intelligence service agency was  part of the SSUP, consisted of four main departments that  concerned with:

  • internal enemies
  • emigration
  • foreign intelligence services
  • technology monitoring and surveillance

UDBA, from the very beginning, was an instrument of Tito’s regime. Its main task was to monitor and wiretap people who are a threat to the regime, whether at home or abroad. Often resorted to state terror and murder, largely dissidents – immigrants from the former Yugoslavia, regardless of their nationality, who were a serious threat to Yugoslavia.

During the period from 1946 to 1990, secret police killed 69 Croatian dissidents, and eight of them are still missing. Agency carried out a failed assassination attempt on the 24 Croatian emigrants, and victims were pulled out with minor or severe injuries. The three men were abducted, and distant four were able to save themselves from kidnapping. The most famous crime of this Yugoslav service is murder of Croatian immigrant and the leader Bruno Busic on October 16, 1978 in Paris. 1960 in Buenos Aires, in the hall of, the Croatian House, bomb was  activated, whose detonation killed a the three year old Dinka Domančinović. That action was directed against the targeted children, due to the fact that in this auditorium was celebrated the last day of school holidays.

Murders and kidnappings abroad


UDBA informants and agents accounted numerous killings of dissidents in various countries. German judiciary is currently conducting judicial proceedings against several former collaborators of the secret police for the murder of Stjepan Djurekovic. They currently live as retirees in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Croatia remain outstanding judicial proceedings against UDBA criminal associates. UDBA agent  Josip Perkovic was sentenced in Germany on life imprisonment  becouse of murder . Judgment states that “in Germany until 1989, UDBA politically motivated killed 67 Croats. 22 assassinations were committed after 1970 s.


The investigation and trial against Krunoslav Prates was obstructed, according to the analysis of non-governmental organizations Croatian Club,  by  persons familiar to the  structures  of UDBA.

UDBA files

UDBA contributors, forty-five years gathered data on so-called  “enemies of the people”. Several tens of thousands of files are  now in the Croatian State Archives. Every citizen who wants,after certain procedures can look  their files. The former East Germans, Romanians and Czechs can see the files and the names of the agents who followed them, while in Croatia, you can only see the code names of agents.

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