Investigative journalism by Stuart Christie into the neo-fascist terrorist career of Stefano Delle Chiaie, which spans two continents and two decades. The history of Delle Chiaie is the history of nazism in our world today. Through it we see fascist terrorist organisations in their true role: agents of an inner, oligarchic power sphere which sets itself above all law and morality
Stefano Delle Chiaie: Portrait of a 'black' terrorist - Stuart Christie
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The career of Stefano Delle Chiaie spans two continents and two decades. The history of Delle Chiaie is the history of nazism in our world today. Through it we see neo-fascist terrorist organisations in their true role: agents of an inner, oligarchic power sphere which sets itself above all law and morality.
On 2 August 1980 a bomb hidden in a suitcase exploded at Bologna railway station in Italy, claiming the lives of 85 innocent people and injuring over 200. The outrage at Bologna was just one more episode in what has become known as the 'Strategy of Tension' - a campaign of terror, infiltration, provocation murder (including that of anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli) that stretches back to the beginning of the 1960s and has its roots in the Cold War. But what exactly are the aims of this seemingly senseless campaign, and who are the people behind it?
Of the five people named as suspects by the Italian judge investigating the outrage at Bologna, one stands out from all the rest: Stefano Delle Chiaie. Master organiser of neo-fascist terror, or someone who has been deliberately set up as such by other more shadowy figures, the name of Delle Chiaie is inextricably linked with just about every major right-wing scandal and terrorist outrage to have rocked Italy during the past two decades. The history of Delle Chiaie is the history of Nazism in our world today. Through it we see neo-fascist terrorist organisations in their true role: that of "plausibly deniable" agents of an inner oligarchic power sphere which sets itself above all law and morality.
BLACK PAPERS No. 1: STEFANO DELLE CHIAIE - STUART CHRISTIE
First published in Britain, 1984 by Anarchy Magazine, Box A, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E17QX in association with Refract Publications, BCM Refract, London WC1 3XX.
Copyright © 1984, Stuart Christie.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data.
Stefano Delle Chiaie (Black Papers, No.1)
1. Chiaie, Stefano Delle
I. Title 322.4’2’0924
The author wishes to thank Wiener Library (London) for their kind help and assistance during the preparation of this book.
In 1943 the Allies landed in Sicily flying Mafia colours, and the following year James Angleton headed the OSS special ops section in Rome. In 1945 Angleton rescued Valerio Borghese (“The Black Prince”) from the death sentence he was given by the Italian Resistance for war crimes, and in 1948 he helped orchestrate the CIA’s successful intervention in the Italian elections to keep the Communists from winning. With this sort of legacy, it’s no wonder that “black” politics has been dominant in Italy ever since.
Organised crime, corrupt Italian secret services, and unrepentant fascists have been working together through powerful Masonic societies such as Propaganda Due (P2 Lodge). In the 1960s some of them began a campaign of terror and murder that was known as the “Strategy of Tension.” A favourite tactic was to blame their acts on the Left so as to legitimise more power for their friends on the Right. The most outrageous crime was the Bologna railway station bombing in 1980 that killed 85 innocent people; one of the five named as suspects by the investigating judge was Stefano Delle Chiaie. This book examines what is known and speculated about the career of Delle Chiaie, who also moved among ex-Nazi and junta circles in Latin America, Spain, and Greece.
Princes should devolve all matters of responsibility upon others, take upon themselves only those of grace.
(The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli)
I am against democracy; I am a fascist. Or rather a nazi-fascist. Men like me work towards a coup d'Ètat in Italy, or a civil war situation.
(Guido Giannettini, Paris 1974)
Fascism is a populist, collectivist and statist movement opposed to “monopoly” capitalism and communism. Although fascism recruits from all social classes it attracts mainly the middle classes since it appears to offer an “alternative to bolshevism” while permitting them to maintain their interests by establishing themselves as the Third Force between multi-national and state capitalism.
Fascism feeds on dissatisfaction, rancour, exaggerated nationalism, anticommunism and racial prejudice: all traits which flourish in times of political and social insecurity.
Fascism has produced no rational system of ideas and has special appeal to those who lack the critical ability to bring together all the relevant facts and factors when assessing a situation and their own emotions; people who either through habit or inertia have become totally dependent on others for their opinions and who find uncritical obedience to authority both comfortable and advantageous.
9 July 1943 Allies land in Sicily flying Mafia colours. Germans retreat to a defensive line across the peninsula north of Naples.
25 July 1943 Following talks between Hitler and Mussolini at Feltre, Fascist Grand Council invite King Victor Emmanuel to assume supreme command. Mussolini is arrested.
28 July 1943 Fascist Party dissolved.
12 Sept 1943 Otto Skorzeny frees Mussolini who assumes leadership of the Repubblica Sociale Italiana (Salo Republic).
4 June 1944 Allies occupy Rome. Command of US Office of Strategic Services (OSS—the forerunner of the CIA) passes to Colonel Clifton T. Carter, an admirer of Marshal Pietro Badoglio, former Italian Army Chief of Staff who had led the assault on defenceless Ethiopia. Carter’s executive officer is Major James H. Angleton, an expatriate businessman who owns a subsidiary of the National Cash Register Company in Milan. Carter sends his executive officer’s son, James Jesus Angleton, who had studied in Italy prior to the war and had close right-wing and neofascist connections, to Rome to head the special operations section of the OSS. From the moment he arrives in Rome Angleton re-establishes close contact with fascist and right wing organisations and clandestine anti-communist movements from whose ranks he recruits his special operations personnel.
Angleton becomes the key American figure controlling all right wing and neo-fascist political and paramilitary groups in Italy in the postwar period. As in Germany, US secret service involvement with and commitment to the far right during this period facilitates the rebirth of neofascism and the extreme right as the dominant force within Italian politics. One of the numerous terrorist and fascist networks controlled by Angleton is the Fasci d’Azione Revoluzionaria (FAR) whose activities include attacks on liberated radio stations and pirate broadcasts of fascist anthems and pro-Mussolini speeches. An important figure in FAR is Pino Romualdi, ex vicesecretary of the Salo Republic's fascist Republican Party, who claims to be the illegitimate son and heir of Mussolini and later to become one of the main organisers of the MSI. In report no. 86500/3 to the National Security Council prepared by Angleton himself, all the clandestine anticommunist organisations are listed and the author confirms that certain of these are financed by the US secret services. Angleton places great stress on the importance of the Armata Italiana di Liberazione (AIL) led by Colonel Musco and General Sorice, a former Minister of War in the government of Marshall Badoglio.
In report no. 86500/7747 another secret agent, Frank Gigliotti, reports that AIL have “… 50 generals in the process of organising for a coup d’etat. They are anticommunists to a man and ready for anything.”
8 December 1944 British and American military sign a secret accord in Rome which proposes Allied financial aid and arms shipments to the anti communist partisans of the CNLAI (Committee for National Liberation of Upper Italy) in return for an agreement to obey all Allied directives to concentrate on safeguarding northern industrial plants from the Germans and to stage a rapid disarmament after liberation. The main British figure in the negotiations with the anticommunist partisans during this period is the mysterious John McCaffery1 of the Special Intelligence Service (MI6) who operated under the cover of “assistant press attache at the British Legation in Berne. Both McCaffery and Edge Leslie of MI6, also based in Berne, worked closely with Allen Dulles of the OSS (CIA) in spite of official Whitehall opposition to the latter’s close and questionable involvement with “the self-seeking conspiracy of a cabal of disenchanted Prussian generals.”
27 December 1944 Journalist Guglielmo Giannini founds L’Uomo Qualunque (The Common Man), an extreme right wing populist paper directed at the reactionary middle classes, fascist sympathisers, monarchists and Salo republicans.
21 March 1945 Report from the “Confidential Affairs” section of the Interior Ministry of the Salo Republic to Mussolini concerning the establishment of espionage and operational centres: "To this end, the political section of the National Republican Guard has set up a special organism which is already functional and whose potential will be increased. For the moment, that section comprises a ranking officer of the political service, 16 couriers/observers, 18 liaison agents within the borders of the RSI, and some 43 liaison agents in occupied Italy. Each of these persons is living under an assumed identity such that they arouse no suspicion.”
The second part of the document provides evidence of close links between the Italian fascists and the Roman Catholic Church. The same document advises OVRA agents (Mussolini's secret police) to infiltrate the Communist Party and the National Liberation Committee and gives assurance that some of their people “are already working at penetrating these in suitable fashion.”
25 April 1945 Admiral Ellery Stone, US Proconsul in occupied Italy, instructs James Angleton to rescue Prince Valerio Borghese from the possibility of arrest by the Resistance Committees which had sentenced him. to death for war crimes. Stone is a close friend of the Borghese family and “The Black Prince” as he was known was considered a wartime hero for the exploits of his frogmen and miniature submarines against allied shipping.
29 April 1945 James Jesus Angleton, together with Captain Carlo Resio of Italian Naval Intelligence, collect Prince Borghese from his hiding place in a Milan apartment block, dress him in the uniform of a US officer and escort him to Rome.
8 August 1945 Alcide de Gasperi becomes Italian Prime Minister following Christian Democrat successes at National Assembly elections and a popular referendum. (With the exception of De Gasperi and a small minority who were involved with the Resistance, the bulk of the membership of the DC is either fascist or fascist sympathisers.)
1 September 1945 Admiral Biancheri signs secret ministerial note urging the military command to recognise “extenuating circumstances” following the collapse of the Salo Republic: “To all the military of the Salo Republic who had given proof of anti-Salo behaviour and that they are to be retained in the service and employed for anti-communist propaganda and propaganda in favour of the monarchy.” Another circular from police and military commands invites subordinates not to employ in the special services and forces of public order those servicemen and agents who have their origin in the partisans and the Resistance.
20 September 1945 US President Harry S. Truman issues an executive order disbanding the Office of Strategic Services, saying he wants no part of a peacetime Gestapo. The Strategic Services Unit and Office of Policy Co-ordination are set up to preside over the dissolution of the OSS: Philip Horton remained in France, Richard Helms in Germany, Alfred Ulmer in Austria, Albert Seitz in the Balkans, James Kellis in China — and James Angleton in Italy.
18 June 1946 Proclamation of Italian Republic. Togliatti, Communist Minister of Justice, proclaims a general amnesty for all political offenders with the exception of those found guilty of “particularly heinous outrages.” Most of those responsible for the most brutal outrages are set free. By the end of 1946, as in Germany, most senior fascist politicians and military security figures are returned to positions of power as a result of pressure brought to bear by the Allies, who see them as the only organised and trustworthy bulwark against bolshevism.
26 December 1946 Arturo Michelini, a former vice-chairman of the fascist federation of Rome, calls a meeting at his Rome apartment to lay the foundations for the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI).
March 1948 Report from the US National Security Council on the run up to the Italian legislative elections in April confirms the US promise: “…to he]p out the clandestine anticommunist movements with financial and military assistance.” This assistance was detailed in a memo signed by Colonel J. Willems entitled: “The Importance of Recognising the Revolutionary Anti-Communist Forces.” It stresses the strategic and political significance of Italy and the fact that its internal security is: “…an essential factor in the struggle against the Comintern. Italy is the gateway to the centre and east of Europe; she also affords control of the Balkans, the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea.” It further specified that: “…the Italian army afford no serious guarantee against Tito’s armies […] or against the well-organised and well-armed communist fifth column in Western Europe and in Italy herself. This weakness makes it necessary that all forces anti-communist in sentiment should be taken into consideration.” (Document No. 740454).
CIA involved in operation to prevent communist victory in Italian elections.
10 February 1948 Following overwhelming victory of right wing in the elections there is a rapid acceleration in the process of purging socialist and pro-Resistance elements in the administration. Document dated 10 February from US Embassy in Rome to State Department in Washington explains formation of a new police corps specialising in anti-communist activities. This special service under Interior Minister Mario Scelba with US advisers is recruited largely from OVRA veterans. New special police corps is inspired by success of a similar venture in France:
“…To combat the threat of communism. France has organised small but efficient police cells outside the normal police structures, but under the supervision of the Surete National. These cells are equipped with finance and exceptional resources and their personnel, while limited in numbers, are trained to perfection for tasks of this nature. Italy is similarly engaged in setting up secret anticommunist police groups along these lines, under the aegis of the Interior Minister, and relying upon leaders of the old fascist secret police to provide the basic personnel at structural and organisational levels.”
Journalist Antonio Gambino reported an interview with Scelba in which he stated that from early 1948 he had established an infrastructure capable of tackling any communist uprising. He explained how the entire country had been divided up into territorial units: in charge of each of these he had appointed “an energetic figure enjoying his complete confidence.”
July 1948 Between July 1948 and the end of 1953, the anti-anarchist and communist repression cost 62 lives (48 of them members of the CP), 3126 injured and 92,169 arrests (73,870 of them party members). Many of these were people sentenced after the liberation for acts of resistance which were represented as ordinary crimes. One of these was the anarchist Pedrini Belgrado who was tried summarily in the early post-war months for anti-fascist activities and was still in prison over 30 years later.
With the assistance of US secret service agents Peter M. Berti, Daniel Lee McCarthy, Dr. Arthur Gilbert Trudeau — under James Angleton — the MSI begins a massive programme of expansion. By the end of 1948 the MSI claims to have 1874 branches throughout Italy and control 34 weekly magazines. It also establishes cover organisations such as Giovanni Italia, the National Federation of Republican ex-servicemen (FNCR), and the notorious terrorist recruiting ground the Fronte Universitario di Azione Nazionale (FUAN). It also launches its national daily paper Il Secolo d’Italia under the editorship of Franz Turchi.
4 April 1949 Italy signs North Atlantic Treaty.
July 1951 Premier de Gasperi authorises the formation of a “civil defence corps” to assist police and carabinieri. Enrico Mattei, chairman of Italian oil company AGIP and president of the association of Catholic partisans addresses their annual congress on the role of the “white guards” whose duties include: “keeping under observation any groups advocating disobedience, an embryonic form of sabotage… to combat the progressive poisoning of minds and prevent the weaker members of society from being influenced by hostile propaganda… to prevent the appointment of Communists to positions of authority… to thwart criminal solidarity…”
10 March 1954 MSI holds 4th National Congress which leads to a series of splits and schisms. Defectors include General Ivrea and journalist Pino Rauti.
1956 Ordine Nuevo Study Centre established in Rome. Founders include Pino Rauti, Clemente Graziani, Paulo Andriani and Rutilio Sermonti.
Ordine Nuevo develops out of the clandestine experiences of activists in the post-war period in organisations such as FAR and the Legione Nera. Pino Rauti and his associates represent the hard line elements within the MSI and are committed to a return to the basic tenets of Mussolini’s Salo Republic:
(1) Repudiation of populist side to fascism in accordance with the theses of Nazi philosopher Julius Evola.
(2) The creation of a united Europe as a response to US and Soviet imperialism and as a response to, on the one hand, petty conservative 1930s-type nationalism and, on the other hand, to the MSI's pro-NATO and pro-American line.
(3) Adoption of a hard and unequivocal stand on capitalism, the Church, the monarchy and the bourgeoisie.
October 1956 Hungarian students and workers demand unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops, dissolution of secret police.
Soviet tanks intervene following bloody clashes with workers, students and Hungarian troops. Around 200,000 people flee Hungary, including many ultra-reactionary and neo-fascist elements.
13 May 1958 Outbreak of European settlers’ insurrection in Algiers leads to collapse of French Fourth Republic and De Gaulle's return to power. Rise to prominence of ultra right wing Roman Catholic organisation, Cite Catholique, particularly strong among the officers of the “fifth Bureau of the General Staff” (Psychological Warfare).
21 January 1960 Barricades Week. European settlers, with passive complicity of French Army units, raise barricades in Algiers and defy the government for one week.
1960 Barricades Trial. Nineteen settler activists are indicted for an attempt on the security of the state during Barricades Week; sixteen go on trial before a military court in Paris; three, including the "father" of the OAS, Pierre Lagaillarde escape to Spain.
1960 Fascist and anti-semitic slogans are painted on walls of Jewish buildings, Socialist party offices in Milan and Turin, etc. Police raid Milan HQ of the New European Order arresting 20 members. Police also raid the offices of the “Revolutionary Action Group.” Among the five arrested is leader Stefano Delle Chiaie.
The thaw in international politics and the easing of the cold war from the midfifties onward had taken much of the steam out of neo-fascist activism, but this policy of reformism in the opening months of 1960 which led to the opening of the "centre-left" caused alarm and concern among all the more reactionary elements of Italian conservatism.
In the Christian Democrat Party, the right wing and the “Scelbian” centre at once tried to avert this danger. The right wing Vatican hierarchies, led by prelates like the Cardinal Archbishop of Genoa, Monsignor Siri, aided and abetted this alarmist campaign and openly sided with the adversaries of the "centre-left trend”. The Confederazione Generale dell lndustria Italiana, mainly through the Assolombardo (association of Lombard industrialists), manoeuvred to intimidate the majority party by using men like Pella and Togni, who were the mouthpieces of the most retrograde sectors of Italian finance. . . . [Nevertheless] in the brief space of a few months it became clear that [premier] Tambroni intended to tackle the problems of pressure from the workers (which had become more urgent owing to the disparity between profits and wages, between the cost of living and the purchasing power of money) by resorting to methods dating from the days of the Scelba government. The police and carabinieri proceeded to deal with the strikes in a brutal way undoubtedly inspired by instructions from above; the government’s economic measures seemed to be merely safeguarding the speculation that was rife throughout the country; an atmosphere of blackmail and sinister intrigue pervades the top levels of political life, and rumours were current that the Premier himself had ordered the police to check up on all members of parliament and on his own colleagues in the government.
From the very beginning the cabinet was torn by dissensions in the ranks of the DC (Christian Democrats) and these brought about its fall on the eve of 25 April. Negotiations were then resumed with a view to forming a centre-left government with Fanfani as Prime Minister, but a week later there was another dispute and Tambroni's name was again put forward. At the beginning of May his second cabinet was launched, thanks to the support of the MSI. Two months later the situation which had already been tense, became explosive.
The Prime Minister, hailed in certain Vatican circles as the "wise and strong man," showed arrogant authoritarian tendencies, while the “nostalgics,” emboldened by their unaccustomed success, which had brought them to power, demanded that the government should adopt a "policy of force" in dealing with agitation among workers and "restore order." The MSI leaders thought that the time had come to convene a party conference and announced that, with the consent of the government, it would be held in Genoa, under the chairmanship of Carlo Emanuele Basile, a former Fascist prefect of the city whose name had figured in the list of war criminals. The provocative nature of this announcement was obvious.
1961 Stefano Delle Chiaie achieves notoriety when he is arrested and charged with removing the flag of the Resistance from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Rome.
- 1 John McCaffery died in February 1981. Before his death he made out an affidavit stating that he had plotted with Michele Sindona in an attempt to overthrow the Italian government. McCaffery was not the only MI6 agent involved in the web of conspiracies under examination in the present work. Edward Phillip Scicluna, an MI6 officer of Maltese extraction, was present during at least two secret planning meetings of the group of conspirators centred around ex-partisan leader Edgardo Sogno on 30 May and 27 September 1970. Scicluna, a colleague of McCaffery, had been Sogno's case officer during the war and after the Liberation was one of the officers in charge of the trade union section of the Allied military administration. Sogno, Scicluna and McCaffery had kept in contact after the war and Scicluna, at least, was party to various anti-trade union provocations in Italy. Coincidentally, Manlio Brosio, the secretary general of NATO, resigned from his post in June 1971 to take up the leadership of the right wing of the Liberal Party with Edgardo Sogno. Both men received substantial financial support from Italian industrialists such as Fiat, Assolombardo etc. Sogno’s plot was eventually uncovered in August 1974 when a warrant was issued for his arrest on charges of involvement in a planned coup d’etat.
The man and his crimes
On 2 August 1980 a bomb hidden in a suitcase was exploded at Bologna railway station in Italy. It was a Saturday and the first full day of the national holiday and the station was crowded. The explosion claimed the lives of 85 innocent victims and seriously injured over 200 more.
Over two years later the Bologna investigating magistrate, Aldo Gentile, issued an international warrant for the arrest of five men wanted in connection with the bombing. Gentile, who had led the investigation of the bombing from the start, told reporters: “The man who was carrying the suitcase is among them.” One of the wanted men was a French neo-fascist, another a German. The other three were Italians, and the senior among them was Stefano Delle Chiaie.
The name of this master organiser of neo-fascist terror is inextricably linked with most of the extreme right-wing scandals and terrorist outrages which have rocked Italy since the early sixties. These include the attempted seizure of power by secret service chief General Guiseppe de Lorenzo in 1964, the Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan in December 1969 which killed 16 people and seriously injured 88 more, and led directly to the death of the anarchist Guiseppe Pinelli, the attempted seizure of power by Prince Valerio Borghese in December 1970, the bombing of the Rome-Munich express in August 1974 which killed 12 people and injured 48 others and the murder of the magistrate investigating the train bombing.
THE BLACK ORCHESTRA
Outside Italy, Delle Chiaie and his accomplices have been responsible for the murders of exiled political dissidents, the setting up of death squads both in Europe and in Latin America and the provision of mercenaries for right-wing plotters in Africa and Asia, while they have been partners in crime to international drug dealers and kidnappers. Delle Chiaie is also alleged to have acted as “regulator” for the sinister “P2” Masonic lodge in Italy with links with the Vatican and various Latin American dictatorships.
The warrant was issued for Delle Chiaie's arrest on information from the testimony of a number of secret service agents and fascist pentiti or supergrasses. This, together with other evidence accumulated over the years by researchers into the far right, and a careful analysis of all the interrelationships between Delle Chiaie and his associates, friends and colleagues, leaves little doubt that Stefano Delle Chiaie, or “Il Caccola" as he is also known, is either the main coordinator of what has come to be known in informed international political and journalistic circles as the ”Black Orchestra,”1 or has been deliberately set up as such by other more shadowy figures.
WHO IS STEFANO DELLE CHIAIE AND WHAT IS HIS BACKGROUND?
Delle Chiaie was born at Apio in 1936 into a staunchly pro-fascist household. A failed political science student turned insurance underwriter, he began his active political career as secretary of the local neo-fascist party, the MSI, in 1956.
Bored with the lack of action and contemptuous of the lack of radical ideas among the more cautious elements of the old-guard fascists, Delle Chiaie abandoned the MSI in 1958 and gave his allegiance to the newly formed and more overtly Nazi and anti-semitic Ordine Nuovo under the leadership of the journalist Pino Rauti. The motto of Ordine Nuovo was also that of the Nazi SS: “Our honour is our loyalty.”
Known as “Il Caccola” (Roman slang; which translates as “Shorty”), Stefano Delle Chiaie first appears to have been recruited into secret service work as an auxiliary agent during the crisis period of the early summer of 1960. Anti fascist riots in which 12 people were killed and many hundreds injured took place in most industrial towns and cities throughout Italy, which in turn led to the downfall of the government of prime minister Tambroni, which had depended on the votes of the far-right deputies to stay in office.
“Il Caccola” claims that in the early part of that summer of 1960 while the tension was still mounting, he was approached, through an MSI intermediary, by an official of the Interior Ministry to undertake covert operations against anti-fascists and left-wing militants. It was also around this time that Delle Chiaie decided to leave Ordine Nuovo and set up his own neo-fascist organisation which eventually became known as Avanguardia Nazionale, an organisation which was to be the breeding ground and epicentre of neo-fascist terror for two decades.
What exact role Delle Chiaie and his circle of friends played in the events of 1960 is not yet known, but whatever it was it was sufficiently successful to convince factions within the Interior Ministry of the usefulness of employing “plausibly deniable” fascist gangs as auxiliary police and agents of the state during periods of crisis.
Avanguardia Nazionale (AN) soon came to be regarded as the “cudgel of black extremism.” Although even at the height of its “popularity" it counted on fewer than 500 members, it was certainly the most tightly organised and rigidly structured of Italian neo-fascist groups. Those who crossed Delle Chiaie were soon to discover exactly how his "stringent internal discipline" operated in practice.
DEATH OF ALIOTTI
One of the early members of AN was Antonino Aliotti. Aliotti had been involved in many punitive expeditions organised by Delle Chiaie against the left, including the vicious attack on the daughter of the Communist Deputy, Pietro Ingrao, who had her finger hacked off with a knife. On his return from military service, Aliotti underwent a crisis of conscience and openly accused his old leader, Delle Chiaie, of being a lackey of the Italian Interior Ministry and not a “genuine” fascist revolutionary.
A few days later Aliotti received his first warning. His car was stopped and searched by police who “discovered” explosives in the boot which Aliotti swore had been planted. Acquitted on this charge for lack of evidence, Aliotti again denounced Stefano Delle Chiaie, openly accusing him of having arranged the clumsy police frame-up, and again threatened to expose his links with the Interior Ministry. A few days later Aliotti was found dead in his car — again loaded with explosives. The police concluded he had committed suicide, but the evening before his death Aliotti had tried desperately to contact friends, all of whom were at odds with Delle Chiaie. Although there was some evidence of a struggle the matter was not followed up and the exact circumstances of the death of Antonino Aliotti remain a mystery.
Avanguardia Nazionale had a steady income of 300,000 lire a month guaranteed by Carlo Pesenti, a famous Lombard cement manufacturer and insurance tycoon, while other industrialists and businessmen provided additional funds.2 Within a few months AN had opened a number of branches in Rome and other Italian cities and soon was second only in importance to Ordine Nuovo among the flourishing extra-parliamentary neo-fascist groups of the early sixties. As with most fascist organisations, its members were recruited primarily from the ranks of the middle classes.
Delle Chiaie’s organisation was a success. Though it was officially at odds with the “respectable” MSI, the relationship was, in fact, one of mutual interdependence. For the 1962 local elections, Avanguardia Nazionale was hired by MSI candidate Ernesto Brivio, a veteran of Mussolini’s dreaded anti-partisan Brigate Nere and one-time confidant of the Cuban ex-dictator Fulgencio Batista, to ensure ”security” during his election campaign. Avanguardia Nazionale's support for MSI hardliners under Giorgio Almirante gave the organisation access to considerable funds. In return for this financial support, Delle Chiaie’s organisation provided “security” for MSI candidates Pino Romualdi, Luigi
Turchi and Giulio Caradonna during the 1963 election campaign. Later in 1962 a scandal brought to light further links between the Delle Chiaie organisation and the security services. During the visit to Rome for an audience with the Pope of Moise Tshombe, the Congolese leader generally regarded as the tool of reactionary western interests, demonstrations were organised by leftist groups to protest against the visit and the official recognition of the murderer of Patrice Lumumba, the man who had led the Congo (Zaire)3 to independence. The head of the Rome Special Squad, a police group similar to, but more volatile than, the British Special Patrol Group, Inspector Santillo, used the Delle Chiaie organisation to infiltrate and disrupt the leftist demonstration in the Piazza Colonna–and even went so far as to provide Delle Chiaie's men with police issue truncheons. The fascists were recognised and the ensuing scandal of such overt connivance between the police and rightists forced the Interior Ministry to disband the Special Squad and transfer Santillo from Rome Police HQ to the provincial city of Reggio Emilio.
From early 1964 onwards Stefano Delle Chiaie's career became more closely enmeshed with all the major conspiratorial events which occurred subsequently. Early that year he began to concentrate on developing his theoretical ideas on psychological warfare and on building up a national and international clandestine neo-fascist infrastructure. "II Caccola" also began to boast to friends of his increasingly close relationship with officers of SIFAR, the then Italian military intelligence organisation. He claimed to be privy to topsecret information concerning “something big in the pipeline,” and that those close to him had to be ready to act when the time came.
There is little doubt that the “something big in the pipeline” referred to “Plan Solo.”
Frightened by the “opening to the left” under the Christian Democrat premiership of Aldo Moro and the success at the polls of the communists who gained 25% of the vote in the 1963 elections, the Italian right began to make plans to pave the way for the installation of a government of “public safety” consisting of right-wing Christian Democrats, top managers and military men.
General Giovanni De Lorenzo, commander of the paramilitary carabinieri and head of the Italian secret services, together with twenty other senior army officers and allegedly with the knowledge and agreement of President Antonio Segni, drew up a plan for a presidential-type coup d'etat. “Plan Solo” was to have concluded with the assassination of the premier, Aldo Moro. Executive authority was to have passed to the right-wing Christian Democrat Cesare Merzagora.
The coup was called off at the final moment by a compromise between the socialists and right-wing Christian Democrats. General De Lorenzo and his colleagues were not ones to give in so easily, however, and although their plans were thwarted on this occasion the plotters did not abandon them.
- 1 'This is not a centrally coordinated body, nor does it have a press organ or headquarters. It is a loosely structured international friendship circle of neo-fascist and old guard Nazis with shared goals whose coordinated activities over the past twenty years or so have led directly to the deaths of perhaps hundreds of people in Europe and certainly thousands in the third world countries of Latin America, Africa and Asia. The shared goals are essentially those of Hitler's Third Reich: white supremacy, the defeat of all movements towards democracy and equality, the destruction of Russian and Chinese-style state communism.
- 2 The far right in Italy is never short of paymasters. Analysis of the industrial sources of funds is beyond the scope of this brief work, but there seems to be a predominance of oil, rubber, motor and cement interests: the road lobby. This fits with the recurrent choice of trains and stations as targets (why not supermarkets, cinemas, airports, etc.?), and with the general animosity of the European right against railways as symbols of socialism and bastions of working class solidarity and strength.
- 3 Now again the Congo.
The strategy of tension
Delle Chiaie's principal contact, and puppetmaster within the Italian secret service during this period was Guido Giannettini, a right-wing journalist of high standing in western intelligence circles.
In November 1961, Giannettini had been invited by General Pedro del Valle, commander of the United States Central Naval Academy at Annapolis, to conduct a three-day seminar on “The Techniques and Prospects of a Coup d'Etat in Europe.” His audience included both Pentagon and CIA representatives. This appears to have established Giannettini as a respected figure among NATO spy chiefs.
At this time a principal concern in western strategic thinking was the need to counter nascent national liberation movements in Africa and Asia in such a way that while it might not be possible to prevent the emergence into sovereign statehood of the old colonies and dependencies it should be possible to keep them within the western "sphere of influence" by securing the eclipse or demise of the more virulently nationalist leaders and their replacement by "friends of the west," avowed champions of private enterprise and staunch anticommunists who would take whatever steps were necessary within their countries to prevent the colonialist interests being replaced by Russian and Chinese ones.
The principal vehicle used to this end was a "plausibly deniable" intelligence front, an international news agency based in Lisbon1 called Aginter Press.
Although the declared aims of this agency were "to focus the attention of an anxious elite upon the perils of insidious subversion which slowly infiltrates through everyday reports, to denounce its methods and the mechanics of its manoeuvres…" it was not until many years later, following Portugal's "Revolution of the Flowers" in May 1974, that the revolutionary investigators from the Portuguese Armed Forces Movement discovered the true function of Aginter Press.
Its founder and chief was an ex-French army officer and member of the OAS, the pro-settler terrorist conspiracy within the French army in Algeria (1961-62), also a veteran of the Korean war (1950-53) and the Indochina war (1945-54) in which he had served as French liaison officer with the newly formed CIA. His name was Captain Yves Guillou, but he was better known by his adopted name of Yves Guerin-Serac.
Following the defeat of the OAS putsch in Algeria in 1962 Guerin-Serac had deserted from his command of the 3rd Commando of the 11th Demi-Brigade of Parachute Shock Troops and sought refuge in Lisbon with his political mentor Pierre Lagaillarde, generally regarded as the "father" of the OAS. He came, he later claimed, to Portugal to offer his services to the last remaining colonial empire which could provide the last bulwark against communism and atheism:
"The others have laid down their weapons, but not I. After the OAS I fled to Portugal to carry on the fight and expand it to its proper dimensions– which is to say, a planetary dimension." (Paris Match, November 1974.)
According to a report by the post-1974 Portuguese intelligence service, SDCI, set up to replace the hated PIDE of the Salazar and Caetano regimes, Aginter Press provided for:
1. An espionage bureau run by the Portuguese secret police and, through them, the CIA, the West German BND or "Gehlen Organisation," the Spanish Direccion General de Seguridad, South Africa's BOSS and, later, the Greek KYP.
2. A centre for the recruitment and training of mercenaries and terrorists specialising in sabotage and assassination.
3. A strategic centre for neo-fascist and right-wing political indoctrination operations in sub-Saharan Africa, South America and Europe in conjunction with a number of sub-fascist regimes, well-known rightwing figures and internationally active neo-fascist groups.
4. An international fascist organisation called "Order and Tradition" with a clandestine paramilitary wing called OACI, "Organisation Armee contre le Communisme International. "
The OACI was set up by Guerin-Serac, Giannettini, and the escaped wartime Nazi Otto Skorzeny, one of the principal guardians of the fund set up at Himmler's behest in 1944 to secure the survival of the Nazi movement beyond its impending military defeat at the hands of the allies.2 We can return to Skorzeny later, but it is worth remarking here that Giannettini would have been linked to Guerin-Serac not only through their intelligence backgrounds but also through the OAS exiles such as Jean Jacques Susini and Georges Bidault who took up residence in Italy after the defeat of their putsch in 1962.3 At this time Giannettini became one of their main agents, liaising between them and the Italian government in conjunction with their representative Philippe de Massey. Giannettini's efforts were recognised when in the same year, 1962, he was invested by the OAS with the title "Captain of the Crusade."4
Describing his organisation, Guerin-Serac wrote:
Our number consists of two types of men:
1. Officers who have come to us from the fighting in Indochina and Algeria, and some who even enlisted with us after the battle for Korea.
2. Intellectuals who, during this same period turned their attention to the study of the techniques of Marxist subversion... Having formed study groups, they have shared experiences in an attempt to dissect the techniques of Marxist subversion and to lay the foundations of a counter-technique. During this period we have systematically established close contacts with like-minded groups emerging in Italy, Belgium, Germany, Spain or Portugal, for the purpose of forming the kernel of a truly Western league of Struggle against Marxism.
The role of the secret OACI was described as “…to be prepared to intervene anywhere in the world to confront the gravest communist threats.”
INFILTRATION AND LIQUIDATION
The catalyst for action seems to have been the preparations for the "Tri-Continental" Congress scheduled for Havana from 3 to 10 January 1966.
Organised by the exiled Moroccan opposition leader Mehdi Ben Barka, this congress, which was described as "the first solidarity conference of the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America," and which had Soviet and Chinese backing, threw right wing political circles and intelligence services into a panic. The first theatre of operations for Aginter agents was Africa. The Portuguese SDCI report states that the agency's "correspondents" began their operations there towards the end of 1965, but goes into little detail. It merely notes that Aginter "dispatched its operation chiefs… to the countries bordering Portuguese Africa... Their aim included the liquidation of leaders of the liberation movements, infiltration, the installation of informers and provocateurs, and the utilisation of false liberation movements. "
It is no coincidence that this same period saw the beginning of a campaign of murder and kidnapping of many leaders of the anti-colonialist struggle, including Ben Barka, the organiser of the "Tri-Continental," who disappeared in Paris on 29 October 1965, the murders of Portuguese opposition leader Humberto Delgado and later, Amilcar Cabral, one of Africa’s foremost revolutionary figures
Apart from the actual physical elimination of suspected or openly antiwestern political leaders and militants, Aginter press operations were designed to manipulate popular feeling by means of the so-called "Strategy of Tension."
This appears to have been devised by an ill-assorted collection of right-wing elements in international political, military and intelligence circles in the early sixties, the idea being to bring about, apparently because of labour and leftwing activity, such social disruption and uncertainty that the populace would favour the installation of a strong-arm government pledged to restore "order."
Aginter agents would hardly have been true to their self-elected role of "forming the kernel of a truly Western League of Struggle against Marxism… prepared to intervene anywhere in the world" if they had confined their attentions to Africa and Asia and not looked inside NATO itself at Italy. Italy had and has a large and popular Communist Party (the PCI), which is highly critical of Moscow (not to mention Peking) and well entrenched in local government. The far right, on the other hand, is historically the party (under Mussolini) of national humiliation and defeat. The PCI is avowedly neutralist, and were it to gain power would take Italy out of NATO, depriving the Western alliance of its headquarters for Southern Land Forces at La Maddalena in Sardinia and Southern Command HQ at Naples, the principle NATO naval base in the Mediterranean and home of the US Sixth Fleet.
The “Strategy of Tension” itself was outlined in a document which came to light in October 1974. Dated November 1969 it was one of a number of dispatches sent to Lisbon by Aginter’s Italian correspondents. The document is entitled “Our Political Activity” which it explains thus:
Our belief is that the first phase of political activity ought to be to create the conditions favouring the installation of chaos in all of the regime's structures. This should necessarily begin with the undermining of the state economy so as to arrive at confusion throughout the whole legal apparatus. This leads on to a situation of strong political tension, fear in the world of industry and hostility towards the government and the political parties... In our view the first move we should make is to destroy the structure of the democratic state, under the cover of communist and pro-Chinese activities. Moreover, we have people who have infiltrated these groups and obviously we will have to tailor our actions to the ethos of the milieu – propaganda and action of a sort which will seem to have emanated from our communist adversaries and pressure brought to bear on people in whom power is invested at every level. That will create a feeling of hostility towards those who threaten the peace of each and every nation, and at the same time we must raise up a defender of the citizenry [sic] against the disintegration brought about by terrorism and subversion...
The report goes on to describe the political situation in Italy and the emergence of the extra-parliamentary left: "Outside the present contingencies these people are possessed of a new enthusiasm and huge impatience. This fact should be carefully considered. The introduction of provocateur elements into the circles of the revolutionary left is merely a reflection of the wish to push this unstable situation to breaking point and create a climate of chaos..." The unknown author concludes: "Pro-Chinese circles, characterised by their own impatience and zeal, are right for infiltration... Our activity must be to destroy the structure of the democratic State under the cover of communist and pro- Chinese activities; we have already infiltrated some of our people into these groups…"5
One of the key Aginter Press and OACI agents responsible for co-ordinating this infiltration of the left was none other than Stefano Delle Chiaie, long a "man of confidence" of the exiled OAS Italian infrastructure and who carried an Aginter Press card in the name of Giovanni Martelli. As already stated, it is not known precisely when Stefano Delle Chiaie was first recruited as an agent of the Italian secret service, but he was certainly working on behalf of the Interior Ministry as far back as 1960 and he himself has implied knowledge of – and involvement with — De Lorenzo's "Plan Solo." What is certain is that in the spring of 1964 all members of Avanguardia Nazionale underwent courses on the theory and practice of terrorism, psychological warfare and the construction of explosive devices.
The following is the sworn statement of a member of the Delle Chiaie organisation to an Italian journalist:
Mario Merlino [leading AN member who later infiltrated a Rome anarchist group in order to pin the blame for the bomb outrages of December 1969 on the anarchist movement as part of the "Strategy of Tension"] told me that he, Stefano Delle Chiaie, and two others were approached by a carabinieri officer and an NCO, one Pizzichemi or was it Pizzichemini… the name I cannot recall exactly... who suggested to them that they should hide some explosives in some PCI branches which they (the police) would then proceed to have searched. He (Merlino) added that they had also suggested as ideal targets for attacks the Rome HQ of the Christian Democrats, the Confindustria premises in the Piazza Venezia and the RAI television studios.
The three AN members given the job of infiltrating and planting the explosives in the PCI branches were recognised and chased, but the bombings of the RAI studios and the Christian Democrat premises went ahead. Within a few weeks all five of Delle Chiaie's men were arrested and subsequently sentenced for these attacks. When eventually released, all five openly denounced their political master for having betrayed them. No investigation was launched into Delle Chiaie's obvious links with these and other incidents which served only to further enhance "Il Caccola's" growing reputation as untouchable.
THE ROSE OF THE WINDS
The provocations attempted against the left by the members of Delle Chiaie's organisation at this time were the beginnings of the application of the Strategy of Tension in Italy. Meanwhile, following the aborting of Plan Solo, the powerful men inside the Italian state machine itself who ultimately controlled Delle Chiaie, led by General de Lorenzo, built up an efficient military machine capable of seizing power whenever the situation demanded.
De Lorenzo and his colleagues set about creating a secret and powerful putschist organisation which became known as La Rosa Dei Venti–Giunta Executiva Riscossa Sociale Italiana (The Rose of the Winds–Executive Council of Italian Social Salvation).
In the mid-sixties De Lorenzo was one of the most powerful men in Italy. Appointed head of the Secret Services (SIFAR) in 1956 by President Gronchi, he stayed on as head of SIFAR after he was made commander of the carabinieri in 1962. The carabinieri are: "a military gendarmerie operating on a national scale unlike the police who are organised on a local basis in towns. Discipline is high, and extends into a carabinero's private life. He may not, for example, marry before a certain age, and has to obtain his commanding officer's permission. The public, generally, has a high regard for the carabinieri.
Since the carabinieri have units down to the village level, the C-in-C is in an unrivalled position to keep his finger on the pulse of what is going on. He would also be excellently placed to take some undemocratic initiative against the established system, were he so inclined. Probably, for this reason, the C-in-C is chosen not from the carabinieri's own ranks, but from among army generals who hold the post for a specified period of time." (Source: Conflict Studies No. 8, November 1970.)
The organisation aimed to ensure that the Italian officer corps consisted solely of men loyal to La Rosa's objectives, and to this end General De Loronzo methodically set about purging the carabinieri and secret services of all socialists and anti-fascists and replacing them with his own "men of confidence." He also began to build up the carabinieri into a highly trained regular army unit, equipping them with heavy weapons, armoured vehicles and a special parachute detachment. In effect La Rosa controlled the state's main instruments of control and repression.
The army rank and file, being conscripts, were most certainly suspect to the right and could not be relied upon. One of the functions of the "Rose of the Winds" was to create a secret parallel army within the other armed forces (other than the carabinieri) to ensure a quick neutralising of "subversives." Who counted as a "subversive" was to be established by turning the secret services (SIFAR, later SID) into a police corps almost exclusively concerned with compiling dossiers and filing information on Italian citizens. In 1967 it was discovered that SIFAR/SID had unlawfully built up dossiers on some 157,000 Italians.
Details of the "Rose of the Winds" conspiracy were uncovered in 1974. One of the plotters, Roberto Cavallero, a senior right-wing trade unionist, said of it:
"the organisation was set up in 1964 after the failure of De Lorenzo's 'Plan Solo.' Everything which has happened since, from the Parco dei Principe congress6 down to today has been part and parcel of a single trend…. La Rosa is a secret organisation at the summit of which there are eighty-seven senior officers representing every corps and all of the security services. The group has a foothold in every part of the country and operational nuclei of officers dispersed throughout every detachment. There is also a group of officers in liaison with the far-right organisations who are party to conspiracies."
According to Robert Cavallero's statement, La Rosa's justification for its decision to intervene in Italian political life was that: "a coup d'etat along Chilean or Greek lines was not on in Italy where account had to be taken, on the one hand, of the overall political situation – the nine million communist voters — and on the other, of a certain moral laxity which also infests the military and precludes an intervention of that sort."
Cavallero's description of the method of setting the stage for a coup was explicit: "We have opted for the strategy of tension for it is necessary for us to create a desire for order in the man in the street... The Organisation has a legitimate role: its role is to prevent our institutions being placed in jeopardy. When trouble erupts in the country — rioting, trade union pressure, violence, etc. — the Organisation goes into action to conjure up the option of a return to order. When these troubles do not erupt (of themselves), they are contrived by the far right. . . directed and financed by members of the Organisation." When the later head of the Italian secret services, General Miceli, ultimately admitted the existence of the "Rose of the Winds" organisation to investigating magistrates, he stated: "A super-secret SID, acting on orders from me? Fair enough, but I never set it up for the purpose of mounting a coup d'etat; I did so at the request of the Americans and NATO..."
"The Rose of the Winds" conspirators were convinced that the only way to preclude a communist takeover was to create a powerful and all-pervasive network of informers and spies which would enable the state to monitor all popular movements, maintain a check on leading dissidents and, when necessary, eliminate them. The organisation they set up, like its predecessor, Mussolini's OVRA (Opera Volontaria Repressione Antifascismo), was intended to provide an effective instrument of repression capable of both manipulating popular mass movements and smashing them at birth.7
In late 1965, as Aginter Press in Lisbon was getting its international campaign against nationalist movements into gear, Delle Chiaie's organisation embarked on a massive campaign of disruption and provocation directed against the Italian Communist Party on the eve of its national congress. It was a "black propaganda" campaign which bore all the hallmarks of a security service-inspired "psy-ops" manoeuvre. Overnight, thousands of forged PCI posters and leaflets covered the walls and streets of Rome but, although a number of well known AN activists, such as Delle Chiaie's right-hand man Flavio Campo, were arrested, no serious charges ensued.
This campaign was apparently financed by the extreme right-wing Roman Catholic organisation Comitati Civici, an organisation which shared AN's advocacy of struggle against "neo-illuminism" and the "unholy alliance" between Catholic modernism and creeping socialist reformism. Stories abounded that a considerable part of the three million lire provided for the campaign had gone into the pockets of the AN leadership. Certainly, Delle Chiaie acquired a brand new wardrobe and a new Austin A40 to go with his new upward mobility.
Unexpectedly, and for no apparent reason, Stefano Delle Chiaie dissolved Avanguardia Nazionale in the early part of 1966. The dissolution of what had apparently been a healthy and flourishing neo-fascist organisation had nothing to do with internal squabbles or dissension; nor did it signify a change of heart among the organisation's leaders. It was, in fact, for the purpose of infiltration — in order to develop the "Strategy of Tension" and to implement the long term plans of the "Rose of the Winds." Having apparently failed to penetrate the rigid structure of the official Communist organisation the fascists turned their attention to the more volatile marxist-leninist ("maoist") groups and the anarchist movement.
Hardline neo-fascists of long standing such as Flavio Campo and Serafino Di Lula suddenly vanished from circulation. Other members of the Delle Chiaie organisation reentered the fold of the parent MSI, many securing key positions within the party. Cataldo Strippoli became its national youth director while his brother Attlio became provincial secretary of the party.
Stefano Delle Chiaie himself went underground to coordinate the whole campaign. Accompanying him were his trusted associates Nerio Leonori and Carmine Palladino (whose murder in 1982 Delle Chiaie is strongly suspected of ordering to ensure he did not talk). The stratagem they employed was generally the same: once they had infiltrated their target organisations they played the role of informers and agents-provocateurs, urging and organising bombings, outrages, provocations and contriving confrontations with the police. Most were unaware they were working on behalf of factions within the Italian secret services.
During this period of clandestinity, Delle Chiaie appears to have travelled widely in Europe, Visiting Spain, France, Austria, Switzerland and Germany where he was in contact with members of Franz Josef Strauss's Bavarian CSU.
According to a deposition made by AN member Mario Merlino it was during this period that Delle Chiaie made contact with a mysterious Frenchman referred to as "Jean" and whom he introduced to friends as a "military instructor and explosives expert." Merlino claims that in the company of this Frenchman both he and Delle Chiaie planted a bomb in the South Vietnamese embassy in Rome one night "in order to get the blame laid on the left." These tactics were to be employed with relentless regularity as the Strategy of Tension built up momentum.
Although the identity of this Frenchman is not known with any certainty, it is probable he was either an Aginter agent such as Jean-Marie Laurent or Yves Guerin-Serac himself, who, according to SIFAR reports, was known to have made numerous trips to Italy between 1966 and 1968.
THE GREEK CONNECTION
On 21 April 1967 the forces of reaction received a major boost with the CIA inspired military coup in Greece. Following a period of political instability and acts of terrorism as prescribed by the Strategy of Tension three hundred senior members of the elite US-trained and NATO controlled "Mountain Assault Brigade" put into effect the NATO contingency plan "Plan Prometheus" and toppled the democratically elected government.
Among the very first official guests of the Greek Junta was Pino Rauti, founder of Ordine Nuovo, one of the organisers of the Parco dei Principe conference, agent of the Italian secret services – and mentor and friend of Stefano Delle Chiaie. As special envoy from the Roman right-wing daily Il Tempo, Rauti was officially welcomed by General Patakos of the Junta, but Rauti had other less obvious reasons for his visit than journalistic inquiry. On a more discreet level he met with the new head of the Greek military police, Dimitrios Ionnidis and Colonel Ioannis Ladas, secretary general of the Ministry of Public Order and a died-in-the-wool fascist. One of his principal contacts was his host, Kostas Plevris, an agent of the Greek Central Intelligence Agency (KYP) attached to its Italian desk. Plevris was also the founder and leader of the Greek neo-fascist "4th August Movement,"8 the private secretary of Colonel Ioannis Ladas and teacher of sociology in both the military academy and the police training school as well as being adviser to the armed forces on anticommunism and psychological warfare. This is a convenient theory of the "centre." i.e., those with a vested interest in the illusion of democratic parliamentary government as the engine of social justice, since it diverts attention from their own impotence to deal with any reactionary threat and also tends to discredit those genuine revolutionary elements who rightly accuse the parliamentarians of lulling the workers into class-collaborationist reformism and dangerous quietism. The theory also suits the fascists, by and large, as any mass following they enjoy depends on popular appeal; if any radical successes can be claimed by them, so much the better! Plevris was also a key figure in the "World Service" press agency, a front organisation for the KYP, run by French journalist, infiltrator of European Nazi groups, and possible intelligence agent Patrice Chairoff, under the pseudonym of Dr. Siegfried Schoenenberg.
The next few months were busy ones for Rauti. Together with Stefano Delle Chiaie he organised a series of semi-official trips to Greece of parties of handpicked right-wing Greek students studying in Italy and around fifty selected members of Ordine Nuovo and Avanguardia Nazionale. Although officially described as cultural exchanges, the trips were sponsored jointly by General Enza Viola of the Italian general staff and the Greek secret service. The effect of these trips on those who took part would appear to verge on the miraculous. Died-in-the-wool Italian Nazis returned from the Colonels' Greece "convinced" socialists, communists, Maoists and anarchists. Serafino di Luia, one of the most vicious of Delle Chiaie's hatchet-men, returned to found "Lotta di Popolo," a group which eulogised Cuba, China, Arab nationalism and European traditional fascism using the most outrageously pseudorevolutionary vocabulary imaginable — something which was seized on immediately by the media as exemplary of the muddled ideology of the student movement and established the "theory" of "opposing extremisms": that the "far left" and "far right" share common objectives and are often controlled and funded by the same source.
Other Nazis, such as Giovanni Ventura and Franco Freda, whose names would recur in the near future as central figures in the Piazza Fontana outrage, returned to have the presses of their print shops — machines which had hitherto been confined to printing the works of Adolf Hitler and Houston Stewart Chamberlain — began to run off the writings of Che Guevara and Peter Kropotkin.
THE AMERICAN CONNECTION
After a long period of clandestine preparation, Delle Chiaie "came in from the cold" and re-established Avanguardia Nazionale. Throughout the early part of 1969 he is reported to have travelled extensively, spending April and May in North Italy. This same period also saw an increasing number of punitive attacks and terrorist outrages of dubious and uncertain origin.
Avanguardia Nazionale was now fully armed and well financed, a pattern which was being repeated all over Italy by small groups of the far right. Neo-fascist offices and branches which had long since folded suddenly reopened, attracting many new members. By the spring of 1969 the neo-fascist presence had made itself felt throughout Italy with the streets of most Italian towns, cities and villages being plastered with rightist posters and leaflets singing the praises of the new right. Apart from the re-emergence of the well- established organisations and groups of the extreme right wing, refreshed and refortified, this phenomenon was accompanied by a proliferation of new groups of the neo-fascist extra-parliamentary right.
One of the main sources of income which helped stimulate the regeneration of Italian neo-fascism in the late sixties was an American bank with close political, intelligence and Mafia ties: the Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company based in Cicero, near Chicago. It was this bank, together with the Vatican bank (or Institute for Religious Works to give it its proper title) which provided the financial backing for Michele Sindona's ill-fated Banca Privata Finanziaria; this was the bank centrally involved in the massive transfer of Italian industrial holdings to the control of US multinationals which later facilitated the massive movement of capital from Italy and the subsequent loss of confidence in the currency that was a major contributory factor in the buildup to what later became known as the "Hot Autumn" of 1969.
The Continental Illinois is a bank with strong Italian connections and is believed to be a conduit for Mafia money. Coincidentally, the head of the Vatican bank, Archbishop Paul Marcincus, is a native of Cicero.
The President of Continental Illinois at the time was David Kennedy, a man who later became Treasury Secretary in President Nixon's first cabinet. Another business partner of the Continental Illinois was Carlo Pesenti, the Lombardian cement magnate and "guardian angel" of Stefano Delle Chiaie. Equally of interest was the fact that one of the mainstays of the Nixon election campaign and the later notorious Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP) in the 1972 campaign, was MSI Deputy Luigi Turchi, another of Delle Chiaie's patrons, whose introduction to the White House was effected through the ubiquitous David Kennedy. Based at the Republican Party HQ in Washington, Turchi travelled the length and breadth of the United States addressing rallies, participating in debates and giving media interviews all directed at capturing the Italian vote in the United States. When Nixon was finally re-elected a reception was given at the White House at which MSI Deputy Turchi was a "guest of honour." Michael Eisenhower III, the head of Nixon's campaign executive, said to assembled journalists that the President was greatly indebted to the contribution made by the Italian deputy and that he was confident "that the contact will continue in the days to come."
According to La Strage di Stato–Controinchiesta (State Massacre–Counter Inquest) by Samona and Savelli (Rome 1970), the Italian version of Himmler's "Circle of Friends", the financial backers of the revived fortunes of the far right in Italy consisted of US interests whose funds were funnelled through the Continental Illinois and Sindona channels — the main providers being the CIA, organised crime and multinationals; Roberto Calvi's Banco Ambrosiano; Kostas Plevris, the Greek KYP agent and head of the neo-fascist "4th of August Movement"; the Assolombardo-Montedison Corporation (paid through the then MSI secretary Arturo Michelini) and the ENI-CEFIS Corporation (paid through MSI senator Gastone Nencioni). In addition, substantial sums were received from smaller industrialists, businessmen and "nostalgics"; Carlo Pesenti (Italcementi), Giovanni Borghi (Ignis), Guido Bracco (owner of a pharmaceutical firm), the Isolabella family– and numerous other lawyers, shopkeepers, big landowners and members of the Italian "noble" families.
With the re-emergence of the neo-fascist groups, the Strategy of Tension began to move into top gear. In the small southern town of Battipaglia rumours began to spread early in April 1969 of the imminent closure of the town's main source of employment, a tobacco factory. Protest meetings were held and the workers of Battipaglia called for a general strike. During the confrontations between police and strikers a nineteen year old worker was shot dead by police as was a young school teacher who had been watching events from the window of her flat. The pace of events began to quicken. On 17 April, Rome's Il Tempo, the public mouthpiece of the Strategists of Tension, said that: "…Battipaglia saw and tried out for the first time the tactics employed by the Vietcong in Saigon" and that "…the democratic state and the essence of the PCI are incompatible" and invited the ruling Christian Democrats "…to pay no heed to the sensibilities of anyone, but to act effectively in defence, including preventive action, of public order."
The government attempted to lay the blame for the carnage and excuse the behaviour and excesses of the police by referring explicitly to the existence of a "preordained plan" implemented by "provocateurs alien to the city" but the media, left to draw their own conclusions as to the identity of these provocateurs, immediately laid the blame on Maoists and anarchists. Not one of the national papers saw fit to mention the story filed by the OP news agency the day before the clashes erupted which reported that fifty known members of extremist neo-fascist organisations, in particular Delle Chiaie's organisation, Avanguardia Nazionale, had concentrated in the town during the two days prior to the proposed general strike, and which forecast that Battipaglia would be the scene of "very serious upheavals."
The sense of outrage provoked by the police action forced the Italian parliament to propose a bill which would prohibit the carrying of firearms by policemen on public order duty. The bill was due to be debated on 28 April, but before it could come up the outrages started in earnest – bombs blasted the Fiat stand at the Milan trade fair and Milan Central station.
In spite of the fact that there was no evidence as to the identity of those who had placed the bombs, their political convictions were apparently common knowledge both to the media and to the police: following a hysterical antianarchist campaign in the national press, the police officer in charge of the investigation, Inspector Luigi Calabresi, and the examining magistrate, Antonio Amati, ordered the arrest of fifteen anarchists — including Giuseppe Pinelli, a Milan railway worker and founder of the Italian Anarchist Black Cross.
Although Pinelli and five other anarchists were released, it was over five months before the other main suspects were even questioned by the magistrate and, ultimately, two years before they were finally acquitted on all charges.
The Milan trade fair and railway station bombings had been carefully prepared in order to lay the blame at the door of the anarchists. The man apparently at the centre of these and certainly all the subsequent terrorist outrages until the end of 1969 was Stefano Delle Chiaie. Franco Freda and Giovanni Ventura were the two neo-Nazi secret service agents who had actually planted the bombs. Both men were closely linked with Delle Chiaie, whose name recurs in almost every investigation into subsequent outrages, although always indirectly.
From April onwards, events which are too numerous to record in detail began to recur with interesting regularity. The press, television and radio all began to talk of international anarchist plots to foment bloody revolution. The fears and uncertainties instilled in the population by this near hysterical campaign by the media in the build-up to what they described as the approaching "Hot Autumn" served only the interests of the Strategists of Tension and were intended to lead inexorably to military intervention in Italian political life. In all, 1969 saw 149 bomb attacks throughout Italy, a substantial increase on the fifty recorded over the previous four-year period.
2 June: Military parade in Rome. Rumours begin to circulate of a coup d'etat.
6 July: President Saragat provokes a split within the Italian Socialist Party, a split which is proved to have been financed by the CIA, which encourages the employers to resist new wage demands being renegotiated after three years. Rumours of a coup become more persistent.
24 July: Delle Chiaie's men Franco Freda and Giovanni Ventura organise bomb attack on the Turin Palace of Justice.
8-9 August: Ten concerted bomb attacks on trains in North Italy, again organised by Freda and Ventura, and again the Italian police and press go to great lengths to implicate the anarchists, in particular Giuseppe Pinelli. Once again Pinelli is taken in for questioning by Inspector Calabresi who considers him the chief suspect or "likely candidate."
13-14 September: In a blatant provocation, two neo-fascists vandalise the HQ of the Socialist Party in Legano, leaving anarchist slogans and "Viva Mao" daubed on the walls. The local MSI branch stresses the youths acted in "a personal capacity."
4 October: A time bomb is discovered near the door of a Trieste primary school primed to explode at midday, the time the children would have been leaving. Antonio Severi, another Delle Chiaie man, is arrested and charged with attempted massacre following the incident.
19 November: A general strike is called over poor housing conditions. In Milan, police attack a trade union rally outside the Liric Theatre. Two police jeeps crash attempting to disperse a workers' demonstration and a policeman, Annarumma, is killed. Italian fascist and extreme rightwing organisations organise a huge funeral procession for the dead policeman and threaten heavy reprisals. President Giuseppe Saragat appears on television and announces that all leftist demonstrations will be severely repressed.
28 November: 100,000 metalworkers demonstrate in Rome, not only for higher wages but also for improved housing. Throughout this period the Milan Stock Exchange is characterised by instability and frequent stock collapses. The stocks which suffer most are those of small investors which are more sensitive to alarmism.
7-8 December: A powerful bomb blast destroys the entrance hall of the Reggio Emilio police HQ, seriously injuring one police officer. The culprits are arrested in Rome two weeks later. Both of them had been members of Avanguardia Nazionale and had been among those selected by Delle Chiaie to visit Greece. Again, at the time, blame for the outrage is placed firmly on the anarchists.
11 December: The Swiss daily Journal de Geneve writes: "Highly irregular market in Milan with 3,120,000 shares changing hands. The shares which have hitherto stood up are now feeling the consequences." The discomfort and alarmism is added to by the massive movement of capital abroad, a movement which receives a great deal of publicity in the national press.
The true provenance of the bombing campaign was exposed finally on 7 December 1969 when the London Observer published the text of a secret communication from the Director General of the Greek Junta's Foreign Ministry to the Greek Ambassador in Rome.
The report, dated 15 May 1969, was accompanied by a covering letter which stated:
"In this report you will find it noted that the situation in Italy has much of interest to us and proves that events are moving in a direction highly favourable to the national revolution.
“His Excellency the Premier holds that the difficult exertions long undertaken by the national Hellenic government in Italy are beginning to bear fruit. The Premier has ordered me to convey to you his appreciation of the work you have carried out in this country to which you have seconded and also to ask you to persist with your activities, stepping them up so as to make best use of the possibilities which seem, according to the report, to be imminent. Finally, he has asked that I convey to you his wish that henceforth you redouble your precautions and that, in the event of any reversal you cease contact between you so that no connection may be drawn between the activities of our Italian friends and the Greek authorities…”
The key paragraph came under the heading "Specific Action" in the secret report:
“(a) The actions whose implementation was scheduled for an earlier date has not been possible to effect before 20 April. The adjustment to our plans was necessitated by the fact that a contretemps made it hard to gain access to the Fiat Pavilion. The two actions have had a notable impact.”
THE MASSACRES BEGIN
At 4.37 p.m. on 12 December 1969 — the day Greece was expelled from the Council of Europe — a powerful explosion ripped through the main hall of the Banca de Agricultura in the Piazza Fontana, Milan, killing 16 people and seriously injuring a further 88. Most Italian banks closed at 4:00 p.m., but because of its proximity to and close involvement with the fruit and vegetable market this one remained open until 4:30 p.m. In the course of the next hour a further three explosions occurred at banks and prominent institutions in Rome including the Altare delle Patria.
The only clue the police had as to the identify of the bombers was an unexploded bomb found at the bottom of a lift shaft in the La Scala branch of the Commerce Bank, also in Milan, an hour after the first terrible explosion. The bomb was contained in a black simulated leather briefcase in which was a cassette tape recorder packed with explosives and a German timing device which had malfunctioned. For some as yet unexplained reason this unique piece of evidence was taken to the courtyard of the bank where it had been found and, on the direct orders of the Procurator General of the Republic himself, De Peppo, detonated without any attempt at scientific examination being made, thus destroying the one strong chance of uncovering the identity of the perpetrators of the ghastly carnage.
As with previous outrages, the blame for the Piazza Fontana bombing was immediately placed on the anarchists. Within minutes of news of the explosion being broadcast, Judge Amati, the magistrate in charge of investigating the 25 April and 8 August bombings, rang Milan police HQ to be briefed on developments. He was told that it was uncertain at that time whether or not the explosion had been caused by a faulty gas boiler or a terrorist bomb. "My money is on the outrage" was Amati's reply and he immediately urged the police to direct their attention towards investigating the anarchists. That same evening, the ubiquitous Inspector Calabresi, the officer in charge of the investigation, told a journalist from the Milan daily La Stampa that the culprits were being sought among the extreme left and that in his opinion the anarchists were responsible for all that day's outrages because they had "all the characteristics of the bombings of 25 April and the attacks on the ten trains on the night of 8-9 August that year." (1969)
One hundred and fifty anarchists were arrested over the next few days and brought to the Milan Questura (police headquarters) for questioning by teams of detectives under Calabresi. Calabresi was a rising star in the firmament of the Italian political police. Not only had he undergone training at various police academies in the United States, but he had also accompanied extreme rightwing US General Edwin A. Walker, confidant of Senator Barry Goldwater, on his trip to Italy, and in fact had effected the introduction between Walker and General De Lorenzo, a relationship which subsequently flourished.
Among the many anarchists arrested that night was Calabresi's bête noire, railway worker Giuseppe Pinelli.
Born in the working-class Porta Ticinese district of Milan in 1928, Giuseppe Pinelli had worked first as an errand boy, then as a warehouseman. He was a voracious reader and every spare moment he filled with reading to make good the gaps in the official education he had received. In 1944-5 he took part in the Resistance as a partisan courier in an anarchist group operating in Milan. Pinelli was one of the few young activists to remain a convinced anarchist when the revolutionary hopes and aspirations of the postwar era began to fade.
In 1954, he joined the railway as a fitter and the following year he married Licia; the couple had two daughters.
In 1963 Pinelli joined the young anarchists of Giuventu Libertaria ("Libertarian Youth") who were breathing new life and inspiration into the anarchist movement in Milan, but he also kept his links with the "old guard" of a previous generation. As one of the sparse "middle generation" of Italian anarchists (35 years old) he tried to ensure friendly liaison between members of the older movement and the new activists. In 1965 he was one of the founders of the "Sacco and Vanzetti" circle at Viale Murillo 1, the anarchists' first premises in Milan for more than ten years. In 1968, following the break-up of the Viale Murillo club, he helped found the Ponte della Ghisolfa circle at Piazzale Lugano 31 and later, in 1969, to open the anarchist club premises in the Via Scaldesole 5.
A dedicated militant, Pinelli played a key part in running the various circles, groups, clubs, etc., and was an active member of the Bovisa branch of the USI, the anarcho-syndicalist trades union. More importantly, perhaps, Pinelli was the moving spirit behind the Milan Branch of the Anarchist Black Cross, an international anarchist relief organisation for prisoners and victims of repression. From May 1969 onwards, following his arrest on suspicion of involvement in the Milan trade fair and railway station bombings, Pinelli devoted his time to the Anarchist Black Cross, providing assistance for the comrades arrested on false and fabricated charges and coordinating an international investigation into the activities of the neo-fascists and various intelligence agencies he knew to be responsible for the acts ascribed to himself and his comrades.
Pinelli had been with friends and neighbours in his regular bar at the time of the explosions and then gone on to the anarchist club at the Via Scaldasole when he heard news of the explosions and where he met Inspector Calabresi and Brigadier Vito Panessi who were searching the premises. The only other person present was another anarchist, Sergio Ardau. Both comrades were invited along to the Questura for a "little chat." This was approximately 6:30 p.m. Ardau was taken in the police car and Pinelli followed on his motor scooter.9
Three days later on 15 December at 7:00 p.m. in the evening, the last interrogation of Giuseppe Pinelli officially began. At 10:00 p.m. Calabresi rang Licia, asking her to look for her husband's rail pass recording the train journeys for which no fares need be paid. A short time later Licia Pinelli rang back to say she'd found it and at 11:00 p.m. a policeman called at the Pinelli home to collect it. At about 11:56 the anarchist Pasquale Valituttu was sitting in the corridor near the room where Pinelli was being questioned when he suddenly heard "very strange noises" coming from the room. Two minutes later, at 11:58 precisely, a call was logged requesting an ambulance at the Questura. Meanwhile, at 11:57, the Unita (Communist Party) journalist Aldo Palumbo left the press room and was walking through the central courtyard of the Police HQ when Pinelli's body plummeted to earth before his eyes. Palumbo claims that when he saw the body fall he believed it to be already lifeless — testimony which was later to be backed up by pathological evidence.
THE PIAZZA DUOMO DEMONSTRATION
Although a number of anarchists were quickly charged with "illegal conspiracy to commit crime" and complicity in the massacre, the plans and hopes of Stefano Delle Chiaie and his shadowy manipulators, the real conspirators responsible for the tragic events of 12 December in Piazza Fontana, were foiled by the untimely death of Pinelli.
The number of people who took to the streets of Milan on 15 December to pay silent homage to the victims of the previous Friday's massacre made it clear that the Italian working class had no intention of succumbing to terror, nor had it been fooled as to the real authorship of the massacre which lay in the hands of the right — not the anarchists. On the morning of 15 December an estimated crowd of around three hundred thousand Milanese overflowed the city's Piazza Duomo to confront the challenge. Had people been confused and terrified and remained at home, the right-wing gambit might well have paid dividends, but the common sense response of the Milanese working class in coming out that morning extinguished any hopes the putschists might have left. Italian writer Camilla Cederna spoke of "that unforgettable day of pregnant gloom, of low dark snow clouds at noon, where the people's reply to the outrage came unanimous and spontaneous and anti-fascist Milan seemed to take the upper hand and the spirit of unity seemed to have been rediscovered and concord re-established."
It was a day which had echoes of 19 July 1936 when proletarian Barcelona took to the streets to resist an earlier fascist machination. Five days later, on 20 December and in spite of a climate of severe police intimidation, a cortege of three thousand people with black flags followed "Pino" Pinelli to his final resting place.
THE SERPIERI REPORT
On 17 December the Italian secret service agent Stefano Serpieri, another of those who had visited Greece on the Delle Chiaie officially sponsored trip, submitted a signed report to his boss, General Federico Quirazza, head of the counter-intelligence bureau of the secret service, naming Stefano Delle Chiaie and Mario Merlino as the material authors of the outrage:
Mario Merlino was the author of the bombing at the [Rome] Altare delle Patria [Tomb of the Unknown Soldier], and he had received his instructions from the fascist leader Stefano Delle Chiaie who, in turn, had received his from Yves Guerin Serac, director of the Aginter Press agency in Lisbon, which also employs the services of one Robert Leroy, a French citizen, in its activities.
Serpieri further specified that "Merlino and Delle Chiaie, passing themselves off as anarchists, carried out bombings so that the blame for them would fall on other movements... " Robert Leroy was a veteran of the French "Charlemagne" division of the Waffen SS and a serving NATO intelligence officer (according to his Aginter dossier) with Reinhard Gehlen's BND.10 He apparently first came into contact with Delle Chiaie at an Ordine Nuovo meeting in Milan in 1965 and the two have remained friends ever since. Leroy says of his connections with Stefano Delle Chiaie that he visited him several times in Rome and that he "shared my views regarding the need to unite seemingly opposed revolutionary elements, in the manner of the Argentine Peronist Movement...."
The report by agent Serpieri was buried by Admiral Hencke, the head of the Italian secret service (SID) at the time. Hencke later lied to the magistrate investigating the links between the neo-fascists and the secret service when he stated that the SID had not investigated the outrages nor had it received any information on the subject. It was not until much later that the full details began to emerge, including the facts that Admiral Hencke personally controlled both Pino Rauti and Giovanni Ventura (and perhaps even Delle Chiaie himself).
DELLE CHIAIE GOES TO GROUND
Slowly the investigation began to concentrate more and more on the "anarchist" Mario Merlino, a recent "convert" to anarchism following his trip to Greece and one of the founders of the Rome "22nd March" anarchist group along with the genuine anarchist Pietro Valpreda.11 It was Merlino, suspected of planting the Rome bombs, who, when arrested and questioned on the night of Friday, 12 December, changed his role from that of provocateur to that of "informer." It was due primarily to his statement to the police that the other five anarchists of the 22nd March group, including Pietro Valpreda, were charged, but his own alibi was not checked for over two months. Merlino's alibi witnesses as to his whereabouts on the afternoon of 12 December were none other than the family of Leda Minetti – Stefano Delle Chiaie's woman companion – and Stefano Delle Chiaie himself.
On 24 February 1970, investigating m
agistrate Cudillo called Stefano Delle Chiaie in for questioning for the first time and "Il Caccola" confirmed Merlino's alibi. Five months later, with growing contradictions in Merlino's statements and additional evidence pointing the finger at the neo-fascists as perpetrators of the Milan outrage, the magistrate again questioned Delle Chiaie concerning his alibi for Merlino on that fateful afternoon. Two days later, on 27 July, the magistrate issued a warrant for the arrest of Stefano Delle Chiaie on a charge of-perjury. In the meantime Delle Chiaie had gone to ground.
In November the following year, indisputable evidence against the neo-fascist and secret service authorship of the Piazza Fontana massacre emerged. A builder repairing the roof of a house in Castel Franco Veneto accidentally broke through a partition wall belonging to a socialist town councillor, Giancarlo Marchesin, and uncovered a cache of weapons and explosives – in particular ammunition boxes with NATO initials similar to those used as bomb containers in the December 1969 outrages. Marchesin claimed the weapons had been stored there by Giovanni Ventura a few days after the 12 December bombings. Before that they had been stored in the house of one Ruggero Pan, who explained to the police that after the train bombings of the summer of 1969, Ventura asked him to buy some metal boxes of the German "Jewel" brand. He explained that the wooden trunks used to contain the explosives did not have the same explosive effect as the metal ones. Pan refused to comply with Ventura's request, but the following day he noticed a metal box at Ventura's place and realised someone else had obliged in his place. Pan forgot about the incident until 13 December 1969 when the press and TV showed pictures of one of the boxes used in the attacks on the banks. It was of the "Jewel" brand, identical to the ones obtained by Freda and Ventura.
Investigating magistrates also discovered that the nerve-centre of the conspiracy was in the hall of a Padua University institute made available to them by the neo-fascist caretaker, Marco Pozzan, a close associate of Franco Freda. After lengthy interrogation by the magistrates in March 1972 Pozzan confessed that the overall plan had been given the go-ahead during a meeting in Padua on the evening of 18 April 1969. According to Pozzan both Pino Rauti, the agent of the Greek Junta in Italy, and Stefano Delle Chiaie participated in the meeting.12
Warrants for the arrest of Franco Freda, Giovanni Ventura13 and Pino Rauti were issued and Marco Pozzan was released as a minor accessory and then vanished.
On 3 March 1972, the last day of the abortive trial of the anarchist Pietro Valpreda in connection with the Piazza Fontana bombings, Freda, Ventura and Pino Rauti were arrested with seven other fascists. All were charged with having organised the outrages of 25 April at the Milan Trade Fair and Milan railway station as well as the train bombings of August that same year. Three weeks later, on 21 March 1972, the 12 December 1969 outrages were added to the list of charges. On 13 July 1972 all the neo-fascist suspects were released on bail and both Freda and Ventura were spirited out of Europe by SID captain Antonio La Bruna who travelled to Spain where he made the necessary arrangements with Stefano Delle Chiaie in Barcelona in November 1972.
For four and a half months the whereabouts of Delle Chiaie were to remain a mystery, until the night of 7-8 December 1970, the anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack on the United States fleet at Pearl Harbour in 1941. Then the 'Black Prince' Junio Valerio Borghese, ex-commander of Mussolini's Decima MAS (Tenth Light Flotilla) and responsible for a murderous anti-partisan campaign under Mussolini's Salo Republic, gave the order to proceed with the final stages of an attempted coup codenamed "Tora, Tora" (the Japanese callsign).
At 11:15 that evening, Stefano Delle Chiaie, commanding 50 neo-nazis, occupied the buildings of the Interior Ministry in Rome. They had gained entrance that morning disguised as workmen and had lain low until Borghese gave the final go-ahead for the coup. (This information comes from a statement given by Delle Chiaie to Michael Vernon Townley, a Chilean secret service agent, quoted in Assassination on Embassy Row by John Dinges and Saul Landau, Writers and Readers, London 1980.)
However, at the very last moment the coup was called off. A few minutes before 1.00 a.m. on the 8th, Borghese received a mysterious telephone call. The identity of the caller is not known, but the name of General Micelli, successor to Admiral Hencke as head of the secret service and commander of the "Rose of the Winds" organisation, has been mentioned repeatedly in this connection (see for example L'Orchestre Noir by Frederic Laurent, Stock, Paris 1978). What was said during the short conversation was also unknown but speculation has it that Miceli, who was allegedly involved in the shady background of the plot, realised at the last moment that Borghese and his men were being set up by other more powerful factions among the plotters, and decided to warn his friend and advise him to pull out.14
THE SUPERMEN DEPART
Frustrated and angry at the decision to abandon the coup, Stefano Delle Chiaie wanted to press on with it regardless, but his men had already begun to desert him and make their escape from the buildings. In the same deposition, Townley stated that Stefano Delle Chiaie had recounted to him the events of that night when they waited for the uprising which never took place. Delle Chiaie told him in conversation that when they eventually left early in the morning the fascists took with them 180 machine-guns from the armoury. He also boasted to Townley that since that night he had become one of the top ten or fifteen most important leaders of the right-wing terrorist offensive in Italy.
News of the Borghese coup attempt was hushed up by the Italian secret service for almost three months but eventually an informer broke the story to the press. Forewarned, as usual, both Borghese and Delle Chiaie fled to Spain, then still firmly under fascist rule. They were quickly followed there by more than 100 Italian neo-fascists implicated in the terrorist outrages which they had attempted to blame on the anarchists and which they hoped would have led them to power in a "New Order." Some of these Nazi terrorists escaped with the assistance of the Italian security services who had used them for their own particular ends – possibly a presidential, Gaullist-type coup – and now had to keep them out of the way to ensure their own complicity remained hidden. The secret service officer responsible for organising the escape networks and liaison with the neo-fascists was the SID Captain Antonio La Bruna, who later helped Freda and Ventura to escape and later still was exposed as a member of 'P2'masonic lodge.
- 1 As a centre for subversion and intrigue in Africa, Lisbon would have been a natural choice. Portugal then still had a fascist government and vast and wealthy territories in Africa which it had no plans to shed.
- 2 See Appendix A.
- 3 The planned invasion of France by the OAS was frustrated by native and settler workers on Algerian airfields, who sabotaged the aircraft which should have carried the OAS "Paras."
- 4 The occasion of the investiture was a field mass in Spain attended by the leadership of the Falange Espanola, Spain's only legal political party, and representatives of the OAS.
- 5 An Italian police report on Aginter Press contained the following outline of the specialised training courses: Instruction was divided under four headings: action, propaganda, intelligence and security, with great emphasis being put on psychological operations and the techniques of terrorism and sabotage. The theory course was also outlined: "Subversion applies appropriate methods to minds and wills in order to induce them to act regardless of all logic and against all norms and laws, and thus conditions individuals and enables one to do with them as one wishes. Terrorism: terrorism breaks down resistance, obtains its submission and provokes a breach between the populace and the authorities. Selective terrorism: breaking down the political and administrative machinery by eliminating its cadres. Blind terrorism: smashing the people's trust by disorganising the masses, the better to manipulate them."
- 6 See Appendix B.
- 7 Plans for a proposed coup d'etat found in October 1973 (for the beginning of 1974) consisted of: Phase 1: The operation to be financed on the basis of support from extreme right-wing industrialists, bank robberies and kidnappings. Phase 2: Application of the Strategy of Tension and perpetration of outrages throughout the peninsula to be attributed to both left and right with the object of creating "psychosis" among the populace. Phase 3: An offensive against leftist organisations, assassinations of leftist leaders. Phase 4: Military intervention. Officers and putschist troops combine with far right in neutralising "democratic officers. Phase 5: Execution of 1624 named individuals. Phase 6: Creation of a regime based on the principles of Mussolini's Salo Republic.
- 8 Founded August 1965 and named after the date on which General Metaxas established his dictatorship in 1936.
- 9 See Appendix C.
- 10 BND – Bundesnachrichtendienst, the Federal German intelligence service founded by Reinhard Gehlen, ex-head of the Wehrmacht intelligence organisation "Fremde Heere 0st" ("Foreign Armies East"). At the end of World War II the Pentagon absorbed his organisation in its entirety in the belief that Gehlerl had an efficient intelligence network stretching right into the Kremlin itself. As early as 1949 an informer in one of the emigre organisations used by Gehlen reckoned that about ninety per cent of all intelligence reaching the Americans was false. Walter Schellenberg, ex-head of Nazi foreign intelligence, claimed to author William Stevenson that the Gehlen organisation was primarily a channel of escape for war criminals and that it was taking in US funds on a scale that for Europe at that time was magnificent. False intelligence from the Gehlen org to the Americans was a major factor in the rise of the Cold War. Soon after the formation of NATO, which was an extension of the Bundeswehr and established West Germany as the strongest military power in that organisation next to the US, the BND became the unofficial NATO intelligence organisation. In this capacity it maintained a resident officer in the capital of every NATO country, allegedly to keep an eye on the host country's contacts with the Soviet Union.
- 11 See Appendix D.
- 12 Stefano Delle Chiaie denies participating in this meeting and alleges that Pozzan, whom he later safehoused in Madrid, told him that Franco Freda ordered him and two others to make the allegations. In an interview with Italian journalist Enzo Biagi in January 1983 Delle Chiaie said: "I understood why (the allegations were made) during the Catanzaro trial [the trial of those charged with the 12 December 1969 outrage], when Ventura too did his damndest to implicate me by claiming that I had participated in that celebrated meeting in Padua, when I never went to it at all Because it was Giannettini who participated in the meeting, not I nor Pino Rauti.... In the end, as far as the Piazza Fontana case was concerned, out went Pozzan, Giannettini and La Bruna and in I came. Well, that strikes me as a second sort of outrage. It strikes me that there is still this determination to save those truly responsible for the Piazza Fontana butchery and to heap the vile responsibility for it upon my shoulders and the shoulders of others who had nothing to do with those outrages."
- 13 During a search carried out in one of the addresses used by Giovanni Ventura, investigators discovered some confidential reports in a chest "...referring to the American, Soviet, French, German and Romanian intelligence services and their activities..." In his defence Ventura explained to the magistrates that he was working for a mysterious international intelligence agency.
Unlike Franco Freda, who openly admitted his neo-Nazi ideas, Ventura insisted as passing himself off as a man of the left. He claims to have infiltrated a fascist group led by Freda for the purpose of monitoring its activities on behalf of this mysterious service which, he alleged, was "...close to the Gaullist left and certain European leftist circles advocating a third force against Soviet-American bi-polarity." According to Ventura his contacts were two journalists whom he eventually named as Jean Parvulesco, a Romanian fascist living in exile in Paris where he worked for the Spanish and French security services, and Guido Giannettini.
Franco Freda was additionally charged with having purchased the detonators used in the Milan bombing. He claims to have purchased them on behalf of a non-existent Captain Hamid of the Algerian secret service who wanted them for use in anti-lsrael action.
- 14 See appendix E.
Borghese and Delle Chiaie were welcomed to Spain by numerous friends of the "Black Orchestra," in particular Otto Skorzeny, the Duke of Valencia, Jose Antonio Giron, a former Franco minister who provided them with accommodation at his villa in Fuengirol, and Mariano Sanchez Covisa, an influential Madrid businessman and father of the notorious "Guerrillas of Christ the King," the Spanish death squads.
Spain was to provide new opportunities for Stefano Delle Chiaie with his special skills, his considerable influence over his friendship circle and his small army of dedicated followers in both Italy and Spain. His leadership qualities were immediately recognised by Skorzeny, who took him under his wing as his protege. Skorzeny's business operations also provided useful cover for the real life's work of Delle Chiaie, which was now entering a new and more international phase.
THE PALADIN ORGANISATION
The spirit of "contestation" which marked the late sixties and early seventies throughout the western world inspired a resurgence in the activities of the anti- Francoist movement in Spain. The terrorist campaign initiated by the Basque separatist organisation ETA was a particularly aggravating thorn in the flesh of the dictatorship. Obsessed with the threat of communism and inspired by the ideas of SAS founder David Stirling, Skorzeny had, since the early fifties, been toying with the idea of setting up an "international directorship of strategic assault personnel" whose terms of reference would enable it to "straddle the watershed between the paramilitary operations carried out by the troops in uniform and the political warfare which is conducted by civilian agents." (Letter from David Stirling to Charles Foley published in the latter's book on Skorzeny, Commando Extraordinary.)
The political turbulence and rapid polarisation of western society which began in the mid-sixties in the wake of the third world liberation movements and, in particular, the example of the Vietnam War, convinced Skorzeny that the time was ripe to put his ideas into practice (Just as Stirling was doing in Britain with his "Watchguard" organisation with which he hoped to counter "communist-inspired" anti-government forces and maintain the "status quo" for the West).1
With the tide of unrest growing in intensity month by month and the increasing number of guerrilla actions against military and political pillars of the Franco regime, both at home and abroad, Skorzeny was given a free hand by the Spanish Interior Ministry to deal with the thorny but delicate problem of neutralising the perceived enemies of Francoism. In 1968 he began recruiting former Waffen-SS and OAS men for this purpose. French Nazi party leader Francoise Dior signed up many members of her organisation who were then taken to San Sebastian to be interviewed by Skorzeny who informed them they would be called upon when Franco died if the Army did not manage to take control. Other recruits were found primarily among the ranks of former members of the OAS, the later outlawed Service d'Action Civique (SAC), as well as South Tyrolean and exiled Yugoslav fascists, anti-Castro Cubans and Portuguese exile fascists.
The day-to-day running of the Paladin organisation, as it was named, was entrusted by Skorzeny to an old colleague from the Third Reich, Dr. Gerhardt Harmut von Schubert. Von Schubert, if that indeed was his real name, was, like many other leading figures among the old guard of the "Black Orchestra," an ex-employee of Goebbel's Propaganda Ministry.
After the war he had been security adviser to the vicious Peron dictatorship in Argentina, then after that a principal agent in Skorzeny's construction of the Gestapo-style Egyptian security services under Neguib and Nasser.
The public face of the Paladin organisation was that of a legitimate security consultancy but this was only to provide cover for its real function of recruiting mercenaries and killers for dictators and failing colonialist regimes. Its covert activities in France and Spain were carried out under a variety of convenient names: "Spanish Basque Battalions," the "Guerrillas of Christ the King," the "Apostolic Anti-Communist Alliance," etc.
MURDER OF CERRADA
The arrival of Delle Chiaie and his army of dedicated followers boosted the ranks of Paladin and marked the beginning of a bloodthirsty and ruthless campaign of murder and terror directed against exiled dissidents and "enemies of the regime."
Under cover of the confusing variety of names this neo-fascist sub-state agency has organised and carried out well over a thousand punitive attacks in Spain and the French border area, particularly around Bayonne, killed around fifty people and seriously wounded many hundreds more. Aldo Tisei, the neofascist "supergrass" who took over the military organisation of the Delle Chiaie group in Italy following its leader's move to Spain, later informed investigating magistrates: "We eliminated ETA members who had fled to France—and did so on behalf of the Spanish secret services."2 The murderer of the almost legendary anarchist Laureano Cerrada Santos, Ramon Benicho Canuda, may also have been working with the Paladin organisation. The frame-up of eleven anarchists in France following the kidnapping of Spanish banker Balthazar Suarez in May 1974 also appears to have involved at least one Paladin provocateur by the name of Martinez.
Paladin did not work solely for the Francoist security agency: it carried out contracts on behalf of numerous other sub-fascist regimes and agencies as well. Supergrass Aldo Tisei elaborated: "We had solid and highly effective links of a political as well as an operational nature with some foreign secret services, among whom I may name, without fear of contradiction, the Chilean DINA and the Spanish secret services up to Franco's death. They also supplied us with superb logistical back-up and helped find us effective assistance in the event of our going on the run. Obviously these services wanted favours in return. On DINA's behalf we carried out the attack on the chairman of the exiled Chilean Christian Democrats, Bernardo Leighton and his wife. On behalf of the Spanish we have, as I said, eliminated runaway ETA terrorists who had fled from Spain."
Tisei also went into some detail about the role of Delle Chiaie in the "Black Orchestra": "This [international planning and coordination] is an area personally looked after by Stefano Delle Chiaie and if he were to succeed in his plans it would spell a lot of danger for the institutions [sic]. For in that case, the armed groups of the far right would derive massive advantages."
THE BRESCIA AND ITALICUS TRAIN BOMBINGS
1974 saw the restructuring of the Italian extra-parliamentary right with the establishment of much closer international links with other neo-fascist movements and even more sinister umbrella organisations such as the World Anti Communist League.
The offensive was not long in coming. On 28 May a bomb exploded at an anti-fascist rally in Brescia, killing 8 and injuring 102 people. A communique was received shortly after claiming responsibility for the outrage on behalf of a hitherto unknown group using the name "Ordine Nero." ON was, in fact, just one of many names to be used by the now amalgamated "Ordine-Nuovo" and "Avanguardia Nazionale."
A few months later, on 4 August, another bomb exploded aboard the Rome- Munich "Italicus" express train near Bologna, killing 12 people and injuring 48. The date chosen for this outrage would appear not to have been random. Italian police investigating the murder of a Greek student in Rome the following February uncovered evidence that the "Italicus" bombing involved both Italian and Greek fascists. Kostas Plevris's "4th August Movement," outlawed after the overthrow of the Junta in July 1974, had reorganised as a clandestine terrorist organisation under the name of the Greek equivalent of the Italian "Ordine Nuovo," both meaning "New Order." Two years of investigation eventually led to charges being preferred against another hardline element in the Delle Chiaie network — Mario Tutti, founder of the pro-Ghadaffi "Italian- Libyan Friendship Society."
Lotta Continua, the Italian left-wing paper, later published a story in which it claimed that a gang of right-wing policemen, the so-called "Black Dragons," had been involved along with Tutti in the "Italicus" and other train bombings. The same article disclosed that a member of the "Black Dragons," police officer Bruno Cresca, then in prison on charges of robbery, had been involved in the rocket attack on a Pan American plane at Rome's Fiumicino airport on 17 December 1973 in which 32 people had burned to death. The attack was claimed by a hitherto unknown "Palestinian People Organisation." Lotta Continua also published a duty roster and photograph proving Cresca had been on duty at Fiumicino on the day of the attack, although officially assigned to other duties a month before. The paper also quoted a witness who claimed to have seen the terrorists slip through a side door, ushered by a policeman in uniform, thereby evading the searches which would have led to the discovery of their weapons. Finally, Lotta Continua published a handwritten facsimile of a police interrogation of Cresca following the discovery of some 30 million lire on his person. Although incomplete, Cresca's answers appear to indicate that the money had been given to him in September 1974 in payment for work done in Rome the previous year. Does this refer to the Fiumicino attack?
THE ARMS FACTORY IN THE CALLE PELAIO
Stefano Delle Chiaie continued to use Spain as his base while he travelled regularly between Madrid and Rome for nearly six years. After the death of his protector Skorzeny and General Franco in 1975, following hard on the collapse of the Portuguese and Greek dictatorships the previous year, it became increasingly obvious it was time to move on to more secure surroundings. The crunch came following a police raid in February 1977 on a clandestine arms factory in the Calle Pelaio in Madrid, owned by another of Delle Chiaie's Spanish godfathers: Mariano Sanchez Covisa, leader of the "Guerrillas of Christ the King." Nine of Delle Chiaie's closest associates among the Italian exiled neofascists were arrested in connection with this discovery, but forewarned (or lucky!), both Delle Chiaie and his friend Yves Guerin-Serac (who had been in Spain organising the counter-revolutionary "Portuguese Liberation Army" on behalf of General Spinola to overthrow the progressive Armed Forces Movement) managed to elude their would-be captors and once again disappeared from view.
After the arms factory raid, the Spanish Ministry of the Interior issued an interesting statement regarding information uncovered as a result of the raid that the US-made Ingram M10 machinegun used in the killing in 1976 of the examining magistrate investigating the Italicus train bombing, Vittorio Occorsio, "was modified and perfected by the engineer Eliodoro Pomar in the Calle Pelaio factory." What the statement did not say was that the machinegun had been given to Stefano Delle Chiaie by agents of the Guardia Civil "for services rendered."
LINKS WITH MAFIA
"Supergrass" Aldo Tisei, the organisational head of the neo-fascist terrorist infrastructure in Italy following the flight abroad of the original leaders of the various terrorist groups, and one of the two men charged with the murder of Occorsio, has subsequently revealed the close interdependence between organised crime and the security services. Tisei revealed the real reason for the murder of Occorsio: "…Occorsio was the first magistrate to realise that behind our political movement, Ordine Nuovo, stood a terrorist organisation with links to other foreign organisations with anti-democratic objectives." It now appears that Occorsio had uncovered links with the Masonic lodge P2;3 from these links and from those with organised crime, the neo-fascists derived political protection and all the skills of the underworld necessary to pursue their activities. Also after the Madrid arms factory raid, further investigations by the Spanish police led to the discovery of fascist leader Elio Massagrande's bank deposit box which was found to contain large sums of foreign currency and three gold bars from the 1976 25-million-dollar Nice bank robbery carried out by Albert Spaggiari and Italian and Spanish fascist terrorists, all contract employees of the Paladin organisation. Elio Massagrande and another fascist, Gaetano Orlando, managed to escape to Paraguay where, after international protest, they were both arrested in December 1977, but released again in a matter of days on the direct orders of President Stroessner.
DRUGS AND GUNS
Aldo Tisei has further alleged that the Delle Chiaie organisation also operated as an espionage agency for an unnamed Libyan diplomat who also allegedly ran a huge heroin smuggling operation. In return for money and drugs the neofascists' task was to supply the diplomat with secret information on weapons and warfare systems being manufactured and developed by the Selenia and Contraves companies, the two leading Italian firms in the sector. One Delle Chiaie agent, Antonio Leandri, worked at Contraves but he was murdered before he could be questioned by police.
The identity of the Libyan diplomat is unknown, but Rome investigating magistrate Ferdinando Imposimato has written: "Many facts and discoveries prove the close links, going back to the early seventies, between the Libyan government and leading exponents of fascist subversion operating in Italy." It is no accident that one of the leading members of the Delle Chiaie network, Claudio Mutti, was for a long time the chairman of the Italia-Libia Association. Also, Mario Tutti, the neo-fascist killer charged with the "Italicus" express bombing, is known to have cashed a cheque from the Libyan Embassy in Rome while on the run in 1975.
In 1978 Ordine Nuovo, reconstituted in 1974 as a merger between Ordine Nuovo and Avanguardia Nazionale which led to the formation of the terrorist organisation Nuclei Armata Rivoluzionaria (NAR; "Armed Revolutionary Groups"), issued clandestine "Order Papers" to members. These papers make it clear that the new organisational network was now international in scope and that the operational bases had been moved outside Italy. They instructed cells to use different names for each attack. One went so far as to say: "After murder comes indiscriminate terrorism."
- 1 See Appendix F.
- 2 Delle Chiaie made at least three trips to Greece during the course of 1971 accompanied by Yves Guerin-Serac, Guido Giannettini and a number of others, including Bruno Stefano and Gianni Nardi, both later implicated in the Calabrese murder. The purpose of these trips was to attend courses in urban guerrilla and psychological warfare organised by the KYP/CIA front organisation "World Service."
- 3 In relation to the murder of Occorsio it is interesting to note that the murderers, Concutelli and Tisei, were safehoused in an apartment rented to them by a Rome businessman, Pietro Citti, a friend and confidant of Flavio Carboni, the Italian financier and Lodge P2 member later involved in the last, tragic flight of Roberto Calvi of the Banco Ambrosiano to London. Calvi's last night alive was spent in the London home of another freemason and relative of Carboni, Michael Morris. Pietro Citti, the Carboni front man, had close ties with Delle Chiaie to whom he had leased his apartment at Via Sartorio 5 in Rome for a hideout. It was from this hideout that the murder of Occorsio was planned and effected, with Stefano Delle Chiaie's Ingram MAC10 machinegun. Pietro Citti also appears to have been a link man between Carboni, acting on behalf of Lodge P2, and Delle Chiaie, whom he visited on occasion in Madrid.
In Latin America
Stefano Delle Chiaie's first known visit to Latin America was to Chile with Prince Valerio Borghese late in 1973 after the CIA-backed coup which ousted and killed President Salvador Allende. The build-up to the Chilean coup bore numerous similarities to the events which unsettled Italy from early 1969 onwards. The two fascists' trip to Chile was ostensibly on behalf of a Madrid agency, Enesia, to establish friendly relations and encourage trade with the new regime, but in fact to discuss the setting up of an international hit squad to kill the enemies of the Junta and to neutralise all overseas opposition.
This proposal for a transnational terror network later to become known as "Operation Condor" was discussed and agreed with the Chilean Head of Station of the American CIA, Raymond Warren, responsible for running psychological warfare and paramilitary operations networks for eliminating anti-Junta dissidents in other Latin American countries and in Europe.
The first contract fulfilled was the murder in September 1974 of General Carlos Prats and his wife in Buenos Aires. The murder was carried out by the neo-fascist terrorist group Patria y Libertad, a network of right-wing criminals trained in Bolivia and at a school of the United States International Police Academy.
LAYING A FALSE TRAIL
In September 1975 Delle Chiaie travelled to Rome on a false passport where he met Michael Townley, a US-born agent of the Chilean secret service, the DINA, Townley's wife, Mariana Ines Callejas, also a DINA agent, and Virgilio Paz, an anti-Castro Cuban terrorist leader. According to a statement made by Townley to the FBI, following his successful extradition to the United States from Chile on charges of having murdered exiled Chilean leader Orlando Letelier, all three met with Delle Chiaie and his associates to discuss the proposed assassination of Bernardo Leighton.
Within a matter of days the assassination plan was finalised. Virgilio Paz and Delle Chiaie between them prepared a scenario intended to confuse the subsequent police investigation and lead it away from both DINA and the Italians.
The attempt on Bernardo Leighton's life took place in Rome on 6 October 1975, but it was unsuccessful and the would-be assassins succeeded only in wounding their target. The attempt was later described to Aldo Tisei by the would-be assassin himself, Pierluigi Concutelli: "Pierluigi described the operation to me down to the finest detail. He fired at Leighton's head, heard the wife scream, whirled around and wounded her in the throat. He was on the point of giving both the coup de grace but relented, convinced their deaths were imminent." Concutelli described it as "the only cock-up in my life."
A few days later, on 13 October, the false trail was laid when the Miami-based Cuban exile paper Diario de las Americas published a communique from an organisation calling itself Cero which claimed responsibility for the shooting. In November a further communique from Cero was received by the Miami office of the AP agency providing details of the shooting. The communique claimed responsibility for the assassination of the Cuban exile leader Rolando Masferrer on 31 October for being "a divisive influence on the Cuban exile movement"; it added: "Mr. Bernardo Leighton was shot through the back of the head in Rome. A 9mm Beretta pistol was used. We are informing you of this to contradict reports in the media and to identify them fully."
Townley later stated to the FBI that the information used in the Cero communique had been channelled by Delle Chiaie to DINA in Chile and from there to Virgilio Paz in Miami. Although annoyed at the failure of the assassination attempt, DINA paid out l00 million lire to Delle Chiaie which, according to pentito Aldo Tisei, he pocketed himself.
Another diplomatic murder linked with the Delle Chiaie organisation, under contract from Paladin, by now based in Zurich following exposure of its activities by the Parisian daily Liberation, was the murder of General Joaquin Zenteno Anaya. Anaya was the American-trained Ranger Commander responsible for the capture of Che Guevara in Bolivia in October 1967, and in May 1976 was the Bolivian ambassador in Paris. Although the assassination was claimed by the hitherto unknown "Che Guevara Brigade," it has been suggested (Nouvel Observateur, Paris, June 1976) that it was planned by a Bolivian intelligence officer known as Saavedra with Delle Chiaie in the Hotel Consulado in Madrid. (Anaya's politics were opposed to the then president, General Banzer. He was a supporter of ex-president Torres who was murdered shortly afterwards in Argentina.)
It would appear, then, that when Delle Chiaie and Guérin-Serac made their escape from Madrid in 1977 they found refuge and a new base for their activities in South America where they already had many friends and protectors.
The original network of pro-Nazi circles in Latin America maintained by Skorzeny, Luftwaffe hero Hans Ulrich Rudel, ex-Goebbels man Johannes von Leers and Klaus Barbie had been built on in the late sixties by the fresh blood of Aginter Press organiser Yves Guerin-Serac and his network of OAS exiles.
Many of the methods and techniques which are now the hallmark of Latin American death squads originated in the theory and practices in Algeria of the French "5th Bureau of the General Staff" (psychological operations) under Colonel Lacheroy and were honed to cruel perfection by the OAS under the direction of Colonel Jean Gardes: beheading, degenitalising and other forms of mutilation of suspects and the dynamiting of their corpses and leaving the remains in some public place. Guérin-Serac’s mentors in Lisbon and Madrid, Susini and Lagaillarde, were both proteges of the infamous 5th Bureau set up in 1957 during the Algerian War. In the late sixties, when Aginter Press spread its attention from Africa to Latin America, it is estimated that about 60 per cent of Aginter personnel were recruited from the ranks of the OAS, while the remainder were recruited from neo-Nazi organisations in Western Europe such as the Frankfurt based Kampfbund Deutscher Soldateni1 run by another ex- Goebbels man and partner of "von Schubert" in Paladin, Dr. Eberhardt Taubert, otherwise known as "the man in the white Porsche."2
A 1968 prospectus sent by Guerin-Serac to the head of Guatemala's secret police tendering for a "security contract" makes chilling reading in the light of subsequent events. It proposed: "a programme of action against Castroite subversion in Latin America" and the "placement in Guatemala of a team of specialists in subversive and revolutionary struggle, or perfectly trained politicomilitary cadres to serve as technical advisers in the elaboration of political and military action schemes to be pursued in the struggle... This action by specialists would be placed under the ultimate authority of local political leaders and perfectly coordinated with them.
Apart from setting up a headquarters study office charged with making a special study of subversion and familiarising officers with new combat methods of guerrilla warfare, infiltration, psychological warfare and the setting up of a 'special missions' centre... indeed it would be a good idea as well to extend the anti-guerrilla action to adjacent nations, Nicaragua and El Salvador, for the antiguerrilla struggle."
In June 1971, the New York Times reported that at least 2,000 people had been murdered in Guatemala between May 1968 and November 1970. An Amnesty International report estimated that upwards of 30,000 people were murdered in the decade beginning 1966, the vast majority of them between 1968 and 1971 following the assassination of US ambassador Gordon Mein. The terror campaign, modelled on the South Vietnamese "Phoenix" programme, in which an estimated 40,000 Viet Cong suspects were murdered, was masterminded and overseen by Mein's successor, Nathaniel West, a senior staff member of the US National Security Council (West was afterwards appointed US ambassador to Chile in November 1971, shortly after President Allende nationalised the copper mines) and was carried out by agencies such as the "plausibly deniable" Aginter Press. According to Patrice Chairoff, missions carried out by Aginter Press and similar front agencies in Latin America enabled, by 1977, around 560 European neo-fascists to receive in-depth training and experience in psychological warfare and terrorism.
Shortly before exiled Argentinian dictator Juan Peron's plane touched down at Ezeiza airport on his return from exile to power on 20 June 1973, death squads of the "Triple A" (Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance) organised by Peronist Interior Minister Juan Lopez Rega (later identified as a member of Lodge P2) opened fire with machineguns and threw hand grenades into the waiting crowds, massacring 300 bystanders because they were Peronist leftwingers.
According to an investigation carried out by the newspaper of the leftist Montoneros, El Descamisado, those responsible for the massacre included members of several international neo-fascist groups, including Francoise Chiappe, formerly of the Milice, the wartime Vichy-French anti-Resistance Squads, a veteran of the OAS Delta Commandos, and heavily implicated in the international drug trade.
When in May 1974 investigators from the Portuguese Armed Forces Movement raided the Lisbon HQ of Aginter Press and its political wing, "Order and Tradition," they discovered Yves Guerin-Serac's last-known forwarding address: Apartado 1682, E1 Salvador.
Stefano Delle Chiaie's main base in Latin America appears to have been Buenos Aires, but he is known to have travelled extensively throughout Latin America in the company of one or two trusted companions. According to DINA sources quoted by American authors John Dinges and Saul Landau in their book Death on Embassy Row, Stefano Delle Chiaie, using the nom-de-guerre Alfredo di Stefano (a.k.a. "Topogigio"), together with two Italian companions "Luigi" (or "Gigi") and "Maurizio" (possibly Maurizio Giorgi, a go-between for Delle Chiaie and Italian secret service officer Antonio La Bruna), were provided with an office by DINA from which they operated a front news agency in Santiago which specialised in channelling pro-government articles to the Western media. The office consisted of a large apartment equipped as an office with a telex machine for their dispatches. As with Aginter Press, the news agency also appears to have provided cover for covert activities.
The three Italians are known to have established contacts in Bolivia, Paraguay, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador and Guatemala, as well as in their base country, Argentina. In Buenos Aires they are known to have been in contact with DINA agent Michael Townley's Milicia group, closely allied to Lopez Rega's “Triple A,” which specialised in reprinting Nazi tracts in Spanish and promoting anti-semitic literature as well as providing auxiliaries for the security services of Latin American dictatorships). It was the Milicia which assisted Townley in assassinating Chilean exiles such as General Carlos Prats.
Although Delle Chiaie's exact activities and movements from 1977 until 1980 are a matter for conjecture (he seems to be able to go wherever he wants, whenever he wants), what is certain is that this period saw a cementing of the relationship between the neo-fascists and organised crime, the Mafia. In Italy, 1976 had witnessed an increase in the number of criminal kidnappings and there was growing evidence that the neo-fascists, particularly those linked with the Delle Chiaie network such as Pierluigi Concutelli, were deeply involved with the activities of the so-called "Kidnap Anonymous" organisation. It was also known that for some considerable time the Mafia organisations which ran the narcotics trade in the "heroin triangle" (Ostia-Acilia-Casal Palocca) had been using the neo-fascists as heavies to distribute drugs and to intimidate addicts and "neutralise" investigators.
It is not known whether Delle Chiaie attended the 12th Congress of the South Korean-based World Anti-Communist League3 hosted by President Stroessner in Asuncion, Paraguay, in 1979. But the 400 delegates from 80 countries certainly included Delle Chiaie's close comrade from Spain, Elio Massagrande. The main subject for discussion on the agenda was how to galvanise support for right-wing regimes in the vanguard of the struggle against communism.
Another more important meeting in which Delle Chiaie certainly was involved was the secret conference of Latin American security and intelligence services held in Bogota, Colombia, in November 1979. It was at this conference that Argentinian General Roberto Eduardo Viola, later to become President of Argentina, laid the foundations for the Argentinian sponsored coup which blocked the accession of the newly elected President of Bolivia, Dr. Siles Zuazo, in July 1980 (Edward S. Herman, The Real Terror Network—Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda, South End Press, Boston, 1982).
If Delle Chiaie's precise movements are unknown to us, his activities are far from being obscure. He was travelling backwards and forwards between Argentina and Bolivia for some years and was directly involved in the destabilisation campaign preceding the bloody coup which overthrew Bolivia's democratically elected President Dr. Siles Zuazo on 17 July 1980.
One of the Delle Chiaie organisers in Latin America, West German Joachim Fiebelkorn (born 1947), a Paladin and Kampfbund Deutscher Soldaten veteran, as well as a Frankfurt pimp, who had worked with Delle Chiaie in Bolivia, stated later to the West German police that Delle Chiaie was the number one international middleman between the Sicilian Mafia and the Latin American cocaine producers. Based in a police barracks next to the West German Embassy in the capital, La Paz, the Delle Chiaie men, Los Novios de la Muerte — "The Fiancés of Death" — as they called themselves, were contracted as security guards and enforcers for the multinational drug empire of Roberto Suarez, described as the "King of Coca," overseeing the production, transportation, distribution and marketing of cocaine.
It was Roberto Suarez who put up the money and placed his neo-fascist paramilitary organisation at the disposal of General Luis Garcia Meza in his preparations for the 1980 coup which installed both Meza and his Interior Minister, the notorious Colonel Luis Arce Gomez. Arce Gomez, a close relation of Roberto Suarez, and known as "the Idi Amin of the Andes," was described by the US ambassador to Bolivia and by the US Drug Enforcement Agency as "one of the biggest cocaine dealers in the country" — after Suarez, of course. Another US Drug Enforcement Agency official claimed that "for the first time ever the drugs mafia has evidently bought itself a government." (Bolivia: Cocaine: the military connection, Latin America Regional Reports Andean Group, 29 August 1980, quoted in Edward S. Herman, The Real Terror Network. )
The amount of money involved in this lucrative trade can be gauged by Arce Gomez's own estimate in a statement to Latin America Weekly Report (13 February 1981): "Coca can produce for us 1,200 million dollars." But this was a vast understatement. The astronomical profits being made can be better judged by the fact that Roberto Suarez, in an attempt to obtain the release of his son, held in the United States on serious drug charges, offered to pay off Bolivia's entire foreign debts of $3,800m. (The son has since been released on bail and is now back in Bolivia. )
Concerning the 1980 coup in Bolivia, Venezuelan journalist Ted Cordova Laire wrote in El Nacional: ". . . all sectors agree unanimously that Argentinian, Italian, German and South American elements all participated in the coup effected by Garcia Meza and Colonel Arce Gomez. Many of the junta's prisoners were interrogated by Argentinians." The same writer also affirmed that the destabilisation campaign was begun during the regime of Argentina's Jorge Videla, another Lodge P2 Mason, and that General Galtieri himself went to La Paz to prepare the campaign and sent at least seventy Argentinian police and security specialists who operated under cover of the newly established OPSIC — the Oficina de Operaciones Psicologicas (Office of Psychological Operations) — chillingly reminiscent of the French 5th Bureau which spawned the likes of Jean-Jacques Susini, Pierre Lagaillarde and Guerin-Serac: Writer Ed Berman puts the figure at 200 military and intelligence personnel. Los Angeles Times journalist Ray Bonner quoted one US military adviser in Bolivia: "The Argentinian military did everything but tell General Garcia Meza the day to pull it off… ." (Los Angeles Times, 31 August 1981, quoted in Edward S. Herman, The Real Terror Network).
The ostensible head of the new Bolivian regime, General Garcia Meza, charged his Interior Minister Arce Gomez with the job of setting up a personal bodyguard to protect him on his trips around the country. This force was recruited from the neo-fascists who had helped him to power. This parallel security force was trained and overseen by William Adgar Moffett III, a CIA paramilitary officer who had previously helped refine the methods used by Haitian dictator "Papa Doc" Duvalier's dreaded murder organisation, the Ton Ton Macoutes. Within days of Arce Gomez's statement on taking office that "All those who violate the Law of National Security will have to walk around with their last will and testament under their arm," the death squads had begun their campaign of bloody repression. Student meetings were broken up and activists and academics were beaten up and murdered; the headquarters of the main Bolivian trade union, the Central Obrero Boliviano, were gutted and militants tortured and murdered. One of the worst incidents was the carnage which took place at Caracol, a small tin-mining community near Oruro where only a few survivors lived to tell of the atrocities committed by the "Fiancés of Death." ("El Novio de la Muerte — "Fiancé of Death" — is a marching song of the Spanish Foreign Legion.) To avoid attracting attention to themselves, the "Fiancés of Death" would drive into villages or working class areas in ambulances with red crosses marked prominently on the vehicles and carry off their victims, most of whom were never seen again. Other leading members of the "Fiancés of Death" were Klaus Barbie, the "Butcher of Lyon," ex-Waffen SS officer Haus Stellfield who died shortly after the coup from injecting an overdose of cocaine, ex-Waffen SS Herbert Kopplin, Franz Josef Boefle, Hans Juergen, Kay Gwinner, Wolfgang Walterkirche, the Rhodesian Manfred Kuhlman, Heinz Lauer, Hans Landowski, Carsten Vollner, Joachim Fiebelkorn.
Apart from these mainly German and Austrian Nazis there were also at least two Frenchmen, Oliver Danet and Napoleon Leclerc, the OAS man exiled from Marseilles at the end of the "French Connection." Italian neo-fascist and P2 supergrass Elio Cioloni, involved later in the Bologna bombing investigations, described this motley collection in an interview published in the Italian weekly Panorama:
…Fiebelkorn [boss of the Bavarian operation] arrived in Santa Cruz and, little by little, built up this group of German mercenaries. First there was the middle-weight boxer "Icke" — alias Herbert Kapplin, 52 year old Berliner and veteran of the SS armoured division of General Steiner. He was a POW in Russia until 1952, expert at stripping every sort of weapon. The most likable character was Hans Juergen, formerly a railway electrician, an alcoholic who died of overdrinking. The most experienced driver was Manfred Kuhlmann, a little hothead forever in a fury with Kay Gwinner, a Chilean German in exile since Allende's day. There was also the Frenchman Jean Leclerc. His real name was Napoleon Leclerc. In Algeria, with the Legion, he had carried out a lot of torture: he always strutted about in military uniform with grenades dangling at his belt. He never paid his bills and saw communists everywhere. It Fiebelkorn's best friend was 65 year old Hans Stellfield, a Gestapo veteran who fled lo South America at the end of the war. A military instructor, potter, dealer in exotic animals and drugs, he was also a bodyguard and smuggled arms from the USA... Our nine-man group was in direct touch with the Nazi HQ in La Paz run by Klaus Barbie... From the second half of 1978 onwards we had but one aim . . . to get ourselves organised so as to display our power.
Following the success of the coup the US Drug Enforcement Agency estimated that the drug traffickers who had put up the 70 million dollars to put Garcia Meza into power increased the annual production at their refineries from 2,000 million dollars to over 7,000 million.
When the US authorities started to exert pressure on the Bolivian government to crack down on the production of cocaine, it simply provided Arce Gomez with an opportunity to corner the market for himself and Suarez. Having recruited the "Fiancés of Death" into the Bolivian National Drug Control Agency, Arce Gomez then provided them with a list of more than a hundred of the smaller independent drug producers to be dealt with. Leading units of the Bolivian army, the Nazis raided the "illegal" drug factories of the smaller producers, smashed up the equipment, impounded their stocks of cocaine and forced many of them to hand over their houses, luxury flats, aeroplanes, boats, and whatever money they had. Those who resisted were tortured and killed as examples to the others.
The story of Pierluigi Pagliai, a long-term confidant of Delle Chiaie, illustrates the activities of the neo-fascist network in Bolivia. Pagliai, born 1954, the son of a rich Milanese family and a stalwart of Italian neo-fascism in the early seventies, had gone on the run to Argentina six years previously when he had been named and, briefly, arrested in connection with the 1974 Brescia anti- fascist rally bombing mentioned earlier. In Argentina he had been recruited into that country's "special services," along with Delle Chiaie.
Known variously as "Carlos," Mario Bonomi and Bruno Costas, Pagliai was an accredited "co-ordinator" of the Bolivian National Drug Control Agency — a misnomer if there ever was one — under Colonel Renan Reque. Colonel Reque claims that Pagliai came to him with a Bolivian birth certificate and identity card in the company of an official of Department II of Bolivian Military Intelligence who "insisted" he should be accredited to the agency. According to the statement of supergrass Ciolini, who was also an agent of the Bolivian Interior Ministry, Pagliai had been described in CIA documents as a "young terrorist torture freak." The CIA blamed him directly for many of the violations of human rights perpetrated under the regime of General Meza. Pagliai's name has also been linked with a number of murders, including that of an expoliceman, Jose Abraham Batista, who was gunned down, for an unknown motive, in the Avenida Uruguay in the narco-fasicst capital of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, as well as the torture and murder on 17 July 1980 of Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz, the secretary-general of the Bolivian Socialist Party.
- 1 Kampfbund Deutscher Soldaten ("German Soldiers' Combat League"), Talstrasse 6, D-6 Frankfurt am Main. Founded by Karl Heinz Keuken,Wolfram Langer, Erwin Schonbrun and Dr. Eberhardt Taubert. The organisation which has a membership of around 1500 of whom two-thirds are under the age of thirty, publishes the monthly Unser Kampf ("Our Struggle") which is wholly controlled by Nazis. Many members of the Paladin Group were recruited from the ranks of the KDS, as were many of the mercenaries who fought in Rhodesia (39 in June, 21 in July and 34 in September 1976). The Rhodesian mercenaries were recruited and trained by Taubert's colleague Major Nicholas Lamprecht.
- 2 Dr. Eberhardt Taubert (died 4 November 1976) joined the Nazi party in 1931—two years before Hitler came to power. Promoted to Sturmfuhrer in legal department during Goebbels' gauleitership of Berlin, he later followed Goebbels to the Ministry of Propaganda where he was assigned the department handling "the struggle against alien ideologies, religious meddling and bolshevism at home and abroad." Dr. Taubert later took charge of "active anti- Jewish propaganda" and was subsequently assigned the "anti-Komintern" bureau which specialised in anticommunist and anti-Soviet propaganda. In 1938 Taubert was appointed Judge with the "Court of Peoples'Justice." He was later made ministerial adviser to Goebbels and headed a 450-strong team of Nazi propaganda specialists in the occupied territories. After the war Taubert went to South Africa and Iran before returning to Germany in 1950, when he was recruited into the special services section of the Gehlen organisation (BND). He was also appointed chairman of the CIA backed "National Association for Peace and Freedom". Under cover of the All-German Ministry, Taubert was an adviser to Franz Josef Strauss, Minister of Defence, and to NATO on "problems of psychological warfare." For over twenty years Taubert was the main source of finance to the neo-Nazi and extreme right groups in Europe, acting as a conduit for money from businesses and foundations such as the Staats und Wirtschaftspolitischen Gesellschaft e.v. in Cologne and Pelugan AG of Frankenthal (in 1977 this company was run by former consul Dr. Fritz Ries, one of the many straw men through whom funds are channelled to Franz Josef Strauss). According to journalist Patrice Chairoff, Taubert was also one of the "respected correspondents" of the Greek KYP through his "World Service" "press agency.' Until his death in 1976, Taubert was considered .
- 3 World Anti-Communist League (WACL). The most sinister of all the internationally active extreme right wing organisations and pressure groups. Although founded in Seoul, South Korea, in 1966, the initial foundations were laid in Mexico in 1958 during the "World Anti-Communist Congress for Freedom and Liberation." The WACL is based on Goebbels' "Anti-Komintern" and is the main conduit for funds for extreme right wing organisations throughout the world. One of the first operations financed by the WACL shortly after its founding in November 1966 was to finance the propaganda and intelligence gathering press agency "Aginter Press."
On Saturday, 2 August 1980, the first full day of the Italian national holiday, a massive explosion ripped through the waiting room at Bologna railway station, killing 85 people and seriously injuring and maiming a further 200.
Although the people of Italy knew instinctively this was a neo-fascist provocation, the police could come up with no real leads and seven days after the outrage the investigation had come to a dead end.
The first clue came when a prisoner claimed to have overheard the massacre being planned by his cellmates. Arrest warrants were issued for a number of neo-fascists but nothing substantial came from this and other leads. Indeed, by December 1980 there were still only three suspects and the evidence against them hinged solely on the statement of a fellow neo-fascist informer, Piergiorgio Farina. This evidence proved circumstantial and on 30 April 1981 the investigating magistrate ordered the release of Francisco Furlotti, the man named by Farina as having been the key planner of the outrage. The other two suspects were also released at the end of 1981, again due to insufficient evidence — a decision which shocked most of Italy, not only the relatives of the dead and injured.
The investigation was not, however, at a dead end. By mid-April 1982 news of four arrests on charges of illegal association and membership of an armed gang — Leda Minetti, Adriano Tilgher, Maurizio Giorgi and Carmine Palladino — for the first time pointed the finger directly at Stefano Delle Chiaie.
THE MASONIC CONNECTION
In May 1981 the investigation into the Bologna massacre was overshadowed by another scandal which exposed the formalised corruption of the Italian ruling class. It also proved to be inextricably linked with the Bologna enquiry. During a police raid on the Arezzo villa of Licio Gelli, a respected businessman and honourary Argentinian consul, in connection with the investigation into Michele Sindona, the Vatican's financial front man and embezzler of 45 million dollars from his Franklin National Bank, police discovered a list of 953 prominent public figures who were members of a Masonic lodge, Propaganda Due or "P2," based in Rome's Hotel Excelsior under the worshipful mastership of Gelli.
Further investigations revealed that Gelli was a wanted wartime fascist and had used P2 to establish a conspiratorial network which covered every key sector of the Italian establishment and whose membership included cabinet ministers, newspaper publishers, the heads of television and radio stations, and the heads of the secret services and armed forces. Lodge P2 was in effect the continuation and political extension, in Italy and in Latin America, of the Rose of the Winds organisation whose existence had been exposed in 1974.1 The scandal which followed the disclosure of the existence and membership of Lodge P2 brought down the government of Orlando Forlani, but only two members of P2 were ever questioned about any criminal offence — Licio Gelli and a secret service officer who faced charges concerning the passing of classified information. Captain Antonio La Bruna, Stefano Delle Chiaie's secret service shadow, was the officer questioned as to his membership of P2.
The full implications of this elaborate secret Masonic network are still unknown, but subsequent revelations by members and events have cast some light on its founding aims. Licio Gelli, who had fled to Argentina where he had lived for many years after the war and where he had many protectors, was arrested in Switzerland in September 1982. Carrying a false passport, he was arrested while attempting to withdraw 120 million dollars from the private account of Roberto Calvi, a member of both P2 and City of London Lodge 901, President of the Banco Ambrosiano, another Vatican conduit. In a statement by fellow P2 brother Michele Sindona to Jeremy Paxman of the BBC "Panorama" programme from a US prison where he is serving 25 years for fraud, the money being raised by both Calvi and Gelli, with the help of the Vatican bank, was to be used to finance extreme right-wing military regimes in Latin America. These regimes relied heavily on the support of Lodge P2, which saw its main function as coordinating the international activities and attitudes of right-wing "anticommunism" and which was undoubtedly one of the most effective clandestine power structures forming links between the far right in Europe and in Latin America.
Further information as to the insidious nature of Lodge P2 came to light with the arrest in Switzerland of Elio Ciolini, a P2 "brother," alleged secret service agent and card-carrying officer of the Bolivian Interior Ministry. Ciolini had been jailed in Switzerland on charges of swindling, kidnapping and making death threats against a woman by the name of Renata Ball. In the autumn of 1981, from his prison cell in Geneva, Ciolini wrote to Aldo Gentile, the magistrate investigating the Bologna railway massacre, claiming he had inside knowledge and was prepared to make a statement. The magistrate eventually travelled to Switzerland and began taking Ciolini's deposition in mid March 1982. Ciolini made some remarkable allegations when he began to outline his explanation of the mechanics and reason for the outrage.
According to the informer, a huge fraud had been planned in Italy involving the massive ENI industrial group (a parastatal corporation which controlled most of Italy's oil, natural gas and chemical industry — and which also subsidised the neo-fascist MSI) and a sum of 50 billion lire. Plans for this massive swindle were, according to Ciolini, discussed at a "special" meeting of Lodge P2 on 11 April 1980 in Monte Carlo. It was decided that Gelli should commission Stefano Delle Chiaie to organise an action of such spectacular dimensions that governmental and public attention would be diverted away from the financial coup. According to Ciolini, Delle Chiaie and Gelli met at the Sheraton Hotel in Buenos Aires to finalise their plans.
GUNS AND DRUGS
Whether or not Ciolini's allegations were true (and there is considerable doubt about some of them) he was released shortly after giving his statement to the Bologna magistrate. His bail was, according to a letter sent to the chairman of the parliamentary inquiry into the activities of Lodge P2, put up by the carabinieri or another secret service agency. On his release, Ciolini went to see the Bologna magistrates claiming he was passing through on his way to check in at the "HQ of his service" (carabinieri counter-intelligence) and made a further deposition concerning drug and arms smuggling rings centred around Lodge P2. He also went into great detail about the organisation of the Delle Chiaie network abroad, particularly in Latin America.
As a result of this latest deposition by Ciolini, the investigating magistrate issued the warrants for the arrest of Leda Minetti, Carmine Palladino, Adriano Tilgher and Maurizio Giorgi. Events began to move quickly. Carmille Palladino, a dedicated disciple and confidant of Stefano Delle Chiaie, a long-time friend who had acted as a go-between for the fascist leader and his organisation in Europe, was coldbloodedly strangled in prison on 12 August 1982 by another member of the Delle Chiaie group, Pierluigi Concutelli,2 the neo-fascist and would-be assassin of Bernardo Leighton, who was serving a life sentence for the murder of the magistrate Vittorio Occorsio. Concutelli, who immediately admitted responsibility for the murder, claimed he had strangled Palladino because he had been directly responsible for the arrest and death of Giorgio Vale, another member of the Delle Chiaie network. What is more likely is that Concutelli had been ordered to kill Palladino who was seen as the weak link in the chain and who could easily incriminate all the other members of the "Black Orchestra," particularly his boss, Delle Chiaie himself. Fear of being indicted on a charge of massacre could move him to tell all he knew of the organisation's involvement in a series of compromising events dating back to the attempted coup of General De Lorenzo and the fascist inspired revolt which rocked Reggio Calabria in 1970.
Coincidentally, shortly before his murder Carmine Palladino had been the subject of a series of discussions between the magistrate investigating the Bologna massacre, Aldo Gentile, and journalist Roberto Chiori. Before Delle Chiaie's name had been openly linked with the Bologna massacre, Chiori had turned his attentions to locating the whereabouts of the "historic" leader of Italian neo-fascism, Stefano Delle Chiaie. The first person the journalist went to was the terrorist leader's companion, Leda Minetti. A few days after he made his initial contact with Minetti, Chiori was told to "prepare for a long journey."
He was then introduced to the person who would escort him to meet Delle Chiaie: Carmine Palladino. It was not until the two men boarded a plane for Brussels that Chiori knew where he was going. From Brussels they took a train to Paris where they booked into a hotel in Montmartre to await the contact. During this journey Chiori felt he had got to know Palladino fairly well and formed a favourable impression of him. Palladino told the journalist that he first got to know Delle Chiaie when he was a member of the "Quadraro" gang in the Rome suburb where Delle Chiaie was the fascist boss. He swore to Chiori that he had "never gone over the top" and added that he had now lost all his original idealism and enthusiasm for the cause, nor did he believe in violence.
This loss of enthusiasm was probably also transparent to Delle Chiaie himself and may well have been a factor in the decision to eliminate his old friend and comrade. Palladino was, however, totally under the charismatic spell of "Il Caccola," as Chiori was to observe later. He was clearly proud of his personal relationship with Delle Chiaie about whom he spoke with great reverence, a man for whom he would clearly have sacrificed much with no hesitation. The call eventually came from Delle Chiaie's hideout and a meeting was arranged. The Nazi leader was comfortably ensconced in a luxury suite in one of the new hotels in the fashionable Etoile district of Paris. Delle Chiaie was accompanied everywhere by a bodyguard supplied by his Paris network. Chiori's interview with Delle Chiaie lasted six hours, during which time Carmine Palladino was present at all times. The relationship between them, as observed by the journalist, appeared to be that of general and adjutant. At one point, while sorting through letters and documents brought by Palladino, Delle Chiaie became furious with an item referring to a police search of an insurance agency run by another of Delle Chiaie's close lieutenants, Adriano Tilgher.
Apparently, the information obtained by the police during this search led to the arrest of numerous members of Terza Posizione, a neo-fascist terrorist organisation under Delle Chiaie's aegis. During the interview Chiori noted that Delle Chiaie ended up claiming a "paternity of sorts" of the NAR.
The sequence of events leading up to the Bologna massacre on 2 August 1980, according to the testimony of penitent fascist "supergrasses" such as Elio Ciolini and Aldo Tisei, appears to be as follows:
Paris: early summer 1980. Delle Chiaie arrived in Paris from Bolivia where he met, among others, Carmine Palladino, Alessandro Alibrandi (later safehoused in England by the League of Saint George) and Giuseppe Dimitri. Delle Chiaie also admits to having been in Cannes during the summer of 1980 on a "working holiday," travelling on a Venezuelan passport.
Diksmuide, Belgium: June. International neo-fascist rally hosted by Flemish Militant Order (VMO), attended by neo-fascists from Italy, France, Spain, the United States and Britain. According to the British anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, a secret meeting was held in Bruges to discuss clandestine activities such as the exchange of personnel to effect jobs in each other's countries and the establishing of an escape network and the setting up of a network of "safehouses" for neo-fascists on the run. The British neo-fascist organisation, the League of Saint George, undertook to provide cover for wanted neo-fascists.
Rome, 26 June. Pierluigi Pagliai and Maurizio Giorgi arrived on a flight from Buenos Aires where they meet up with three other mercenaries in a hotel: Frenchman Olivier Danet and two West Germans, Joachim Fiebelkom and Karl Heinz Hoffman, leader of the West German terrorist group which bore his name.
Abruzzi, Italy: mid-July. Campo Hobbit, third camp of its kind, inspired by the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien, attracted over two thousand neo-fascists including many subsequently implicated in the Bologna massacre. Inspector Paul Durand, a French security policeman and founder member of the French neo-fascist FANE (allegedly set up with assistance from Delle Chiaie) visited Bologna "on holiday" with another Delle Chiaie associate, Marco Affatigato, and a group of other unidentified neo-fascists shortly before the bombing. It would appear Durand was being set up by the Italians. In Bologna Durand met Francisco Donini, founder of the Italian National Socialist Union and the Fiume Liberation organisation, who arranged for him to meet other extreme rightwingers, including Franco Freda's lawyer. In a statement to French police investigators, Durand has since voiced his doubts: "What still surprises me is that Donini wanted me to check into a hotel right opposite the Bologna railway station. But he knew it was too expensive for me..." Durand then travelled on to Perugia for a meeting with Hugo Cesarini of the National Labour Party, then to Rome for further meetings with MSI members, then on to Campo Hobbit for the fascist "festivities." Also present at the Campo Hobbit celebrations were Augusto Cauchi, Mario Tutti, Luciano Franci and Pierre Malentocchi — all members of the Delle Chiaie network and the latter three accused of involvement in the 1974 Italicus train bombing.
FROM BOLOGNA TO BEIRUT
Following the carnage of the Bologna railway station and the subsequent investigation into the extreme right, neo-fascist terrorists in Italy went underground. According to informer Walter Sordi,3 who spent two years as a fugitive in France, the first to get out were Stefano Procopio, Fabrizio de Iori, Alessandro Alibrandi and Sordi himself. These made their getaway on the now well-organised escape lines by plane from Rome to Athens on false passports, by ship from Athens to Cyprus and then the final journey to Beirut where they were assured of a warm welcome. As soon as the four neo-fascists landed in Lebanon they were escorted to a Christian Falangist military training camp where, according to Sordi: "They made us an allowance of 300,000 lire monthly, enough to live on. They taught us how to use heavy arms, bazookas, machineguns and we learned how to put bombs together and how explosives should be handled." In return for this hospitality and training the fascists were occasionally asked along to take part in attacks on military bases of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Sordi's statement concerning the Christian Falangist backing for the Italian neo-fascists was supported later when a PLO guerrilla group captured some Germans returning from the Maronite Christian part of Beirut. Held and questioned, the Germans admitted having spent some time in the Falangist training camp at Akura: "We also met about a dozen Italians there," they claimed.
In August 1981, a year after the Bologna bombing, Searchlight magazine announced that Italian neo-fascists wanted for questioning in connection with the massacre had all been found safehouses and cover in Britain. The British end of the new ODESSA escape network was apparently proposed and organised by Steven Brady of the League of Saint George during the previous year's Diksmuide rally. After leaving Beirut, Alibrandi had travelled to London where he was seen by Searchlight's informer at a League of Saint George social at the Oak Tree public house in Acton, London. Throughout the evening Alibrandi and other Italians were in the company of both Steven Brady and Mike Griffin, membership secretary of the League of Saint George. The following month a further seven Italians were arrested in London in connection with the Bologna massacre. Although the few who were employed were in poorly paid catering jobs, they were found to be in possession of substantial sums of money; one had £2,000. However, the extradition request was turned down by London magistrates because of the "poor quality of the evidence put forward by the Italian authorities" and all were allowed to remain in Britain. British police apparently believed that up to 23 other wanted neo-fascist fugitives were also hiding in Britain.4
Some time in 1981 Alessandro Alibrandi returned secretly to Italy where he was shot dead in a gun battle with police that December.
THE NOOSE TIGHTENS
On Friday, 10 September 1982 the Bologna investigating magistrate, Aldo Gentile, issued an international warrant for the arrest of five men alleged to be perpetrators of the outrage two years previously. He told reporters: "The man who was carrying the suitcase containing the explosives is among them."
The five were:
Olivier Danet 28 year old French mercenary with extreme right-wing connections, involved in arms and drug smuggling and a member of the Bolivian "Fiancés of Death"; alleged to be the man who prepared the Bologna station bomb.
Joachim Fiebelkorn the German mercenary and "Fiancé of Death."
Stefano Delle Chiaie
Of the five only Giorgi was already in custody on other charges. Danet was arrested by French police shortly afterwards. Fiebelkorn gave himself up to West German police in Frankfurt on the Monday after the arrest warrant was issued and was released on bail within 40 hours.
While he was in custody Fiebelkorn made a lengthy statement concerning his work for Delle Chiaie as a "security adviser" in Bolivia. (This was the statement naming Stefano Delle Chiaie as the main conduit between the Latin American drug producers and the Sicilian mafia.)
- 1 See Appendix G.
- 2 Pierluigi Concutelli, the top assassin for the Delle Chiaie network, and Mario Tuti (in whose "honour" the Bologna railway massacre was claimed) had both previously carried out another prison murder. The earlier victim was Ermano Buzzi, a forty year old fascist arrested in 1979 for his alleged part in the 1974 Brescia bombing. Buzzi, who was awaiting trial in the top security wing of Novara prison, was the third prisoner to be murdered in Novara in the space of one month.
- 3 On the "new ODESSA," Sordi has madc statements concerning the existence of a possibly Paris-based clandestine clearing house for wanted fascists which also acts as a mercenary recruitment agency—echoes of the Paladin organisation. Sordi has told Italian magistrates of the case of one fascist, Carlo de Cilla wanted for a robbery attributed to the NAR, who was recruited through this agency to fight fo~ the Afghan Liberation army.
- 4 The importance of Britain as a refuge for the Italian neo-Nazi right is underlined by the continuing attempts by Giovanni Ventura, the Italian secret service agent most directly implicated in the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing, to obtain political asylum in this country on his release from custody in Argentina. Another member of the Delle Chiaie network, Luciano Petrone, was arrested on an international warrant in London on 24 January 1983. Petrone was held on an extradition request from the Italian police who wanted to question him in connection with the murder of two policemen in Rome in June 1982. Spanish police also wanted to question him in regard to a bank robbery in Marbella which netted an estimated £10 million from safe-deposit boxes. Among those attending the Petroni extradition hearings as observers were three of the young Italian neo-fascists previously held on extradition warrants in connection with terrorist charges in Italy.
Hunting in Bolivia
Exactly one month after the warrant was issued, on 10 October, the military dictatorship of General Luis Garcia Meza was obliged to hand over power to the civilian government of Dr Siles Zuazo. The junta strong man, Interior Minister Colonel Luis Arce Gomez, aware that the days of his power were rapidly coming to an end, had already arranged to have himself accredited as military attaché to the Bolivian Embassy in Buenos Aires and on 4 October, one week before the elections, he crossed the frontier with a convoy of five cars and an immense personal fortune. Both Arce Gomez and Garcia Meza were later (unsurprisingly) given political asylum in Argentina, the country which had originally helped them attain power, and permitted to travel in cars without number plates and with their own armed bodyguards.
The Italian authorities had been waiting for this moment. Italian secret service agents had apparently been hot on the trail of Delle Chiaie in Bolivia and Argentina for some months previously and when the news came of the election of the new president of Bolivia they moved immediately to spring the trap.
At 20.00 hours GMT on Saturday, 9 October 1982, an Alitalia DC 10, chartered under mysterious circumstances, left Rome’s Fiumicino airport bound for La Paz. On board were twelve Italian secret service officers and antiterrorist policemen.
With the full cooperation of the newly elected Bolivian government the Italians organised an operation for the arrest of Delle Chiaie and Pagliai which bore little similarity to the capture by Israeli agents of Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires twenty years previously. Whereas Eichmann was snatched from under the noses of his Argentinian hosts and bundled aboard an El Al plane, for the attempted capture of Pagliai special squads of Bolivian security forces surrounded Pagliai’s house in the garrison town of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the drug capital of Latin America and the bastion of the leading right-wing party of Bolivia, the Falange Socialista Boliviana, the inner core of Bolivian reaction. Pagliai was found to be not at home, however, and so the security forces awaited his return from the Puerta Banegas province where he was reported to have been with a group of hunters. At midday on Sunday, 10 October, Pagliai, the young terrorist torture freak, drove into the Plaza Nuestra Señora de Fatima, and the police moved in to surround his jeep. In the gunfight which ensued Pagliai received a bullet in his neck which lodged in his spinal cord. Pagliai was unfortunate. He had been making preparations to follow Garcia Meza and Arce Gomez from Bolivia and return to his home base in Argentina, with his Argentinian wife and their child.
According to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, he had the previous week transferred 15 million dollars to his bank account in Argentina. He was operated on at Santa Cruz and taken to La Paz on the Alitalia DC 10, and then, after the granting of extradition, to Rome where he arrived on 13 October in a coma. He recovered consciousness but remained paralysed in all four limbs, eventually dying in a Rome hospital 24 days after his forced repatriation. It is not known what if anything he said of Delle Chiaie.
DELLE CHIAIE ESCAPES
Of Delle Chiaie, the main target of the international manhunt, there was no sign. Once again he had lived up to his name of “untouchable”. It is entirely within the bounds of probability that he was forewarned of the search for him by wellwishers in the Italian, American or Argentinian secret services and so made good his escape. It is also entirely within his character that he should have allowed Pagliai to walk into the trap or indeed have sent him into it to save his own skin. As usual with Delle Chiaie, there are a number of contradictory reports as to the manner of his escape. Some say he escaped from Santa Cruz to Argentina on 10 October with other members of the Bolivian military regime.
According to a report in the Venezuelan daily El Nacional Delle Chiaie escaped using the name Alfredo Modugno, an assumed name by which he had been registered as a participant at the first “Ibero-American Congress of Democratic Journalists” scheduled to start the very day the military regime fell. Other reports have Delle Chiaie escaping across the Peruvian border near Puno on 11 October under the name Mario Esposito and accompanied by three bodyguards.
On 22 December 1982 Delle Chiaie issued a press statement, from hiding, to the Italian ANSA news agency announcing a warning to the new government of Bolivia and the world. He stated that there was already being created a “Civil Military Junta” to take full advantage of the sharp contradictions among the components of the democratic process begun the previous 10 October and to capture power.
According to the La Paz daily, Meridiano, which carried the story, this is the first time the “Black Pimpernel” (their description) had been heard of since the failure of the security operation to catch him over two months earlier. The paper goes on to say there is no reason to disbelieve in the existence of this clandestine junta.
The fascist terrorist who until recently lived in Bolivia states that the subversive international has ample possibilities because the revolutionary movement is now connected with many political sectors, including those with differential doctrinarial aspirations [presumably this is an attempt to raise the spectre of so-called opposing extremisms again]. …why do the Americans, French and Israelis search for him and his comrades hiding in Bolivia? To understand this, he says, one has to talk about what we were doing in Bolivia. In 1980 Bolivian comrades asked us to give direct support to the revolution which would bring the military to power. It was in this way that ‘Vanguardia Nazionale’ took part, as it had in Costa Rica, Spain, Angola, Portugal, Chile, El Salvador and Argentina.
“…We were not present in a mercenary role but rather as political militants who knew how to win esteem and respect. Our activities unleashed a series of international manoeuvres aimed at thwarting this process of winning influence which confirmed the value and worth (pragmatic) of our ideas and our political projects.”
According to Delle Chiaie, the Americans are looking for him because he and his comrades opposed the pressures of the USA (the American ambassador behaved as though Bolivia was a province of his Empire) to destroy the cocoa plantations.
THOSE WICKED ZIONISTS
The French, went on Delle Chiaie, were after him for another reason. “We tore up a pre-contract signed between France and Bolivia in 1979 for the exploration and exploitation of uranium resources. The contract had a clause which was too advantageous to France.”
As for the persecution by the Israelis, Delle Chiaie explained: “We are constantly working to explain to the Bolivians the methods and objectives of international Zionism.”
Remembering that the government of Hernan Siles Zuazo decreed his expulsion, he said: “There are some sectors who want to capture me, preferably dead. With me, it won't be an easy job. They look for us, but we are on the look out for them.”
Speaking of the present situation: “The government is in the hands of minor marxist elements … the economic difficulties and the social conflict are assuming proportions which have no precedent … now a clandestine civil military junta has been organised which hopes to rebuild on such sharp contradictions, a power which represents the real interests of the Bolivian people.”
Wherever Delle Chiaie is hiding — Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, or Peru he will certainly reemerge at some time in the future to serve the interests of a power elite capable of any act no matter how horrific in the pursuit of its global objectives of subverting all forms of political dissent and all genuine movements for social progress.
The final word on Delle Chiaie in this present work lies with the repentant ex-head of the neo-fascist terrorist infrastructure, Aldo Tisei: “Delle Chiaie may be the shadowy figure of right-wing subversion. He is one of that breed of individuals who purport to be steadfast revolutionaries but in fact have three or four different faces. In the history of terrorism one finds people who assume their full share of responsibility and sign their statements and these are dubbed rogues. And there are others who have for years and do still strive to assume a pure status that they have never enjoyed. By now their role is clear: theirs is the role of prize spies.
Shortly after being condemned to death for war crimes in 1946, the Nazi “philosopher” Alfred Rosenberg declared: “Within fifteen years we will begin to be talked about again, and within twenty years Nazism will again be a force.” Rosenberg’s prophecy did come true, but not in quite the way he imagined it. The history of neo-fascism over the past twenty years, as seen through the story of Stefano Delle Chiaie and his colleagues of the “Black Orchestra”, gives us a clear indication of their true role: agents of an inner, oligarchic power sphere which sets itself above all law and morality.
The account of Stefano Delle Chiaie’s involvement in the events described in the previous pages has been drawn from a wide variety of sources, some honest and some highly suspect. Stefano Delle Chiaie himself vehemently denies all the allegations made against him concerning the Piazza Fontana, Italicus and Bologna bombings, the various coup d’etat attempts or any connection with the Italian secret service, the SID. When interviewed by Italian journalist Enzo Biagi in January 1983 on the edge of the Amazonian rain forest Stefano Delle Chiaie recounted the conversation between him and Captain Antonio La Bruna when discussing the SIDs plan to spring Freda and Ventura from prison and, with Delle Chiaie's assistance, safehouse them in Spain before finding them haven in Latin America:
La Bruna then began to describe the situation in Italy, adding that it was the time to strike back and that we were indispensable to that operation. He said one thing that stuck in my mind. He said: “Some SID people are convinced that you have connections with the Interior Ministry, while others are not.” I said to him, “How come?” “Because,” he answered, “you have never contacted us.” My answer to that was that I held that the national revolutionary movement was not a prize to be disputed between the Interior Ministry and the SID.
That's the only contact I have had with the SID and it was severed immediately, so much so that La Bruna has been one of my fiercest accusers. And, of course, this shows that I had had no contacts with the SID, as had Giannettini for example.
Whether or not Stefano Delle Chiaie was directly responsible for the outrages and terrorist activities ascribed to him is a matter for conjecture. However, there are sufficient attendant circumstances and statements to directly and inferentially place Delle Chiaie as a key figure in the events described in previous pages, though the extent to which he was or is a willing or unwitting agent of others may never be known. But there are more important considerations.
Relying on intimidation, the reactionaries forget that they will cause more indignation, more hatred, more thirst for martyrdom, than real fear. They only intimidate the weak: they exasperate the best forces and temper the resolution of the strongest.
–Victor Serge, “What Everyone Should Know About State Oppression”
The aim of this study in black terrorism has not been to establish the guilt of Stefano Delle Chiaie or present him as an evil genius controlling a vast international network of thugs and terrorists. Nor yet is it an exposé of the nonsensical but sinister selectivity of the Western media in presenting the quantitatively and qualitatively lesser Marxist and nationalist terrorist groups as the agents of soviet destabilisation cumulatively eroding the foundations of democracy.
The primary aim has been to underline the real dangers of fascism in the hope that useful lessons can be drawn from the experiences of the past twenty years:
• Fascists are the subordinate element of more cohesive and powerful forces which are the real backbone of any violent reactionary movement. These forces can be identified within certain sectors of the economic, political, military and religious bureaucracies and organised crime.
• A coalition of all or some of these elements at any one time can provide the basis for a scenario in which the neo-fascists and other reactionary elements can be called on to play what they see as their assigned “historic role.”
• Having failed to win power through the ballot box, believers in national socialism must turn to other methods. In a recent article in his occasional publication Gothic Ripples, British fascist strategist Colin Jordan says: “For us the days of the ‘political party’ as a primitive means of political action are now finished and gone forever.” This political isolation, and their obsessive anticommunism which extends inevitably against all dissent and all rival political standpoints, together with their predisposition to violence and covert action, places them in a position whereby they can easily be manipulated, however unwittingly, by external interests.
• The infrastructure and friendship networks of the extreme right internationally are such that the fascists and organised crime are in effect assets of clandestine state agencies who, in the intelligence parlance, are both “plausibly deniable” and can, in the same parlance, “respond to a crisis without transgressions of administrative jurisdictions” in order to “neutralise” troublesome dissidents (or even, indeed, political opponents seemingly more powerful than themselves, e.g., J. F. Kennedy) or safeguard and enhance the “investment climate.”
• Although the attempt by the Italian neo-fascists to infiltrate the extraparliamentary left, in particular the anarchist groups, was ultimately unsuccessful (inasmuch as it was eventually exposed), it did underline that the anarchists, because of their negative symbolic value and a confusing variety of tendencies, were considered easy prey for short-term manipulation. However, anarchist structures tend to reveal their infiltrators rapidly, as they are thin or transparent. More structured movements may conceal traitors indefinitely. The more rigid the structure the easier it is to remain undetected, as one simply carries out orders!
• It is important to stress that although the strategy of provocation and tension has counter-revolutionary aims which depend upon producing certain conditions (i.e., political and economic destabilisation) that does not necessarily make those conditions counter-revolutionary. We must be careful to distinguish between real provocation and genuine resistance and avoid fuelling the arguments of those who criticise and oppose all resistance on the grounds that “it causes repression”. As Victor Serge noted in What Everyone Should Know About State Repression: “The intrigues of power elites only reveal their corruption and contribute in no small measure to their eventual downfall. Provocation acquires growing importance in proportion as the regimes it serves go into decline and enter onto the slippery slope to oblivion … it is the curse of decomposing regimes.”
• Provocation is much more dangerous in terms of the distrust it sows friends and comrades. Suspicion and mistrust among us can only be reduced and isolated by more reliance not just on tighter, but also on more tested local affinity groups who are united by shared activity and working together, rather than mere adherence to a common “programme” or platform.
• If we are to avoid another Chile or Bolivia or prevent future massacres such as the Piazza Fontana or Bologna railway station, it is imperative that we are able to recognise and counter the intrigues and manoeuvres of covert political elites in their attempts to quash political dissent and, ultimately, impose totalitarian methods of social control. We hope the present work goes some way towards furthering our understanding of the methods of the modern-day “Dr Caligari” and the nature of the zombie in his cabinet.
• Finally, it cannot be stressed too often that it is the working class against whom the fascist terror is ultimately aimed and from the working class that the only final resistance can come. Given the contradictory trends towards greater and greater state power on the one hand and greater and greater demands for the democratisation of everyday social life on the other, it is inevitable that the strong-arm tactics of the state should be carried out by “plausibly deniable” agents apparently (by their antiparliamentary stance) unconnected with the moderate centre/consensus, since any clear connection would destroy the democratic façade of the state and the semi-benign image of the economic institutions it serves. Since society continues to rest on wage slavery, which ultimately denies the vast majority of its members any say in their own destiny, individual or collective, things cannot be otherwise.
Appendix A: The circle of friends
Close links between German industry and commerce and the Nazi party go back to 11 December 1931 when Walter Funk, later wartime president of the Reichsbank (German central bank) approached Baron Kurt von Schroeder to arrange for Hitler to meet potential supporters among German industrialists. Wilhelm Keppler, a small businessman, was given the job of calling together a group of capitalists who could advise Hitler on what to offer the industrialists in order to win their support. This became known as the Keppler Kreis (“Keppler Circle”), which later developed into the “Reichsfuhrer SS Circle of Friends” supervised by the SS and Gestapo boss Heinrich HimmIer.
Twenty days after the abortive attempt on Hitler’s life by von Stauffenberg on 20 July 1944, a meeting was held in great secrecy at the Hotel Maison Rouge in Strasbourg. Present were sixty-seven members of the “Circle of Friends” representing the most powerful industrial, political and commercial interests of the Nazi power structure. The meeting was the culmination of a years planning by Martin Bormann following the crushing of the German armies at Stalingrad. (The Strasbourg conference was documented in great detail and its files were discovered later by United States army counter-intelligence.) The conference chairman, Dr Scheid, declared: “Germany has already lost the battle for France. Henceforth German industry must prepare itself for the economic campaign which will follow the end of the war. All industrialists must strengthen their contacts and companies abroad, each on his own account and without drawing attention to himself. And that is not all. We must be ready to finance the Nazi party which is going to be driven underground for some time.”
After a lengthy discussion the conference agreed on a plan providing for the transfer to neutral or non-belligerent nations of a significant portion of the funds of the major companies of the Third Reich. It is estimated that at their disposal the Circle of Friends has some $800 million. It was also estimated, in 1973, that of the world’s total known gold reserves of 75,000 tons, some 93 tons were still in Nazi hands.
In 1946 the US Treasury Department published their report on the outcome of this conference: “German industrialists and Nazi leaders transferred part of their wealth abroad. Straw men in their service set up companies and opened secret bank accounts. … 750 companies were set up in this way throughout the world by Germans using Nazi funds: 112 in Spain, 58 in Portugal, 35 in Turkey, 98 in Argentina, 214 in Switzerland and 253 in various other countries.” An inventory discovered in 1945 among papers belonging to RHSA VI (Nazi foreign intelligence) showed cash paid out to leading Nazi agents including an amount of five million gold reichsmarks charged against Cash Office and signed for by Otto Skorzeny.
Appendix B: Parco dei Principe
By early 1965 the leaders of the “Rose of the Winds” organisation began to prepare the ground for their long-term plans. For three days in May that year, the third to the fifth, the Parco dei Principe Hotel in Rome was the venue for an anti-communist conference on the theme of “Revolutionary Warfare — Instrument of World Expansion which was to prove the pivotal point which led inexorably to the tragic events of subsequent years.
Discreetly financed by the counter-intelligence bureau of the Italian secret service, the conference was organised under the aegis of the “Alberto Polli Institute for Military and Historical Studies,” a right-wing think tank. The papers submitted at the conference were published a few months later by the extreme right-wing publishing house Giovanni Volpe.
The three-day event was chaired jointly by a general commanding the parachute regiment and the president of the Milan court of appeal; its ideological stars were a group of extreme right-wing journalists. Although all of them were to play a crucial part in subsequent events, one is of particular interest in the context of this story — Guido Giannettini.
The proposals outlined by the neo-fascist journalists at the Parco dei Principe conference were directed at: “… preparing a military instrument capable of facing up to the techniques and expansion of revolutionary warfare … an instrument encompassing the setting up of standing defence groups capable of resisting clandestine penetration by revolutionary warfare and which will give battle without hesitation and with all necessary energy and ruthlessness, even in the least orthodox of circumstances …”. The defence groups were, of course, to be drawn only from known and trusted anti-communists.
So impressed were the Italian general staff with the ideas proposed by the Parco dei Principe team that they promptly commissioned them to compile a report outlining communist infiltration and subversion of the armed forces. Ten thousand copies of this report were printed, but at the last moment it was realised its publication might have precisely the opposite effect to that desired and all copies were hurriedly recalled. The document was eventually published under the pseudonym Flavio Messeler ten years later by the Rome publishing house Savelli with the title “Red Hands on the Armed Forces”. Interestingly enough a similar confidential study entitled “Communist Propaganda in the Armed Forces” was published by the Greek army general staff in September 1967 in justification for the coup the previous April.
Effectively, the Parco dei Principe conference established the credentials of the neo-fascists and the extreme right as “experts” in the theory and practice of counter-revolution. All of the Parco dei Principe team were recruited into the Italian secret service, directly responsible to its new head, Admiral Hencke, and established as men of confidence” and key advisers within the Italian military infrastructure. They were now in a position both to manipulate state policy — and to be manipulated!
Appendix C: NATO and civil emergency planning
Since 1962 (when the McConnell plan was formulated with its league table in which NATO countries are ranked according to the strategic significance of their geographic location), Civil Emergency Planning (CEP) had been topmost in the minds of NATO planners. Following the success, in 1965, of the Parco dei Principe conference, NATO ministers approved a secret report on Civil Emergency Planning. Under the terms of this secret NATO agreement, all of the countries of the Alliance were to establish an organisation composed of trustworthy and able individuals endowed with the necessary means and capable of intervening effectively in case of an invasion. In Germany, Belgium and Britain these organisations were set up within the framework of the regular and reserve forces. In Italy this auxiliary force was made up of specialists recruited because of their anti-communist reliability. The function of these forces was to establish secret bases, arms dumps and equipment caches and to go into action within the framework of the current NATO survival plan in the event of external socialist aggression or internal political upheavals. In the Italian context it was this NATO report which led directly to the recruitment of fascist terrorists who could act with impunity and under official cover as part of a legitimate military back-up force. In May 1976 the Rome weekly L’Europeo (circulation over 100,000) revealed the existence of a special training camp (weapons, explosives, psychological warfare) established, presumably by the Italian General Staff, at Alghero in western Sardinia in 1968, where training was given to members of the Delle Chiaie organisation. La Maddalena, northern Sardinia, is also the HQ of NATO Southern Land Forces.
In the British context it is interesting to note that the details of the existence of this Third Force type of organisation Civil Assistance Unison only emerged in the early seventies following the miners strike of 1974, under the command of General Sir Walter Walker, ex-Commander in Chief of NATO Forces, North Europe. Although both the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence instructed members of the forces and civil servants not to join such groups in 1974, Walker claimed that although these directives made things awkward he still had an extensive intelligence network and he had been assured by retired and serving members of the security services and Special Branch that his organisation would have their fullest support if the chips were down. Walker claimed his organisation could call on 100,000 volunteers. In 1976 General Walker stated that Unison could call a national conference of at least 5,000 delegates. Another semi-secret Third Force organisation in Britain is the paramilitary Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth (address: Records Officer, 284, Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent, tel: 01-303-6288). Founded in 1904 by Captain Roger Pocock, it was officially recognised as an auxiliary branch of British Military Intelligence in 1906. Frontiersmen have fought in a number of wars, transporting themselves to the front line under their own steam.
The first British casualties of the Second World War were Frontiersmen who had attached themselves to the Belgian Army. Training is similar to that of the Territorials and duties include guards of honour on civic occasions, mounted escorts and aid to the civil power duties. Among the mainly inoffensive aims of the LFC is the following: In times of war and national emergency, to seek to aid the armed forces of the Crown in all possible ways and in particular by encouraging members of the Command and others to enlist in the armed or supporting forces. The Legion is not a part of the Ministry of Defence but it is approved by them. The President (two years ago anyway) is General Sir Rodney Moore, ex-Defence Services Secretary at the Ministry of Defence and, since 1975, Chief Steward of Hampton Court Palace. Less savoury members include John Kingsley Read, John Tyndalls successor as chairman of the National Front, a sergeant in the Blackburn branch of the LFC who used it as a recruiting ground for the NF.
Another similar semi-official organisation is a covert group within the government-funded Reserve Forces Association (RFA) called the Resistance and Psychological Operations Committee (RPOC). The RFA is the representative body of British military reservists and the British component of the NATO-supported Confederation Inter Allies des Officiers de Reserve (CIOR). The RFA was formed in 1970 and is also, formally, independent of the Ministry of Defence, but its 214 individual and 90 corporate members represent all the reserve units of the armed forces and the government, according to Chapman Pincher (Daily Express, 18 July 1977), treats it as the spokesman for Britain's reserve forces.
According to Pincher, the RPOC has been preparing the nucleus of an underground resistance organisation since 1971. Close links have allegedly been formed with similar units in several European countries which are actively recruiting anti-communist resistance fighters. They are also said to have established an intelligence network which NATO chiefs regard as being of great value.
The importance given to these reservist organisations is reflected in the recognition and support given to both RFA and CIOR at both national and NATO levels. CIOR was given formal recognition by the NATO Military Committee in 1977 and steps were being taken (in 1977) to involve CIOR in NATO military activities.
More recently Admiral Lord Hill Norton, former Chief of the Defence Staff and Chairman of the Military Committee of NATO (19747), General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley, former C-in-C NATO for Northern Europe, Air Marshall Sir Frederick Sowrey, the UK Representative on the Permanent Military Deputies Group CENTO, 1977-9, together with assorted groups of right-wing financiers and semi-psychopaths such as Sir David Wills, have launched a campaign to create a similar auxiliary defence force. Called Defence Begins at Home, the campaign hopes to build up a force of 700,000 reservists capable of crushing “subversion from within”.
Appendix D: Why Pinelli?
In order that the responsibility for the Piazza Fontana bombing be seen to be the work of anarchists, suitable and likely candidates had to be available in Milan. It would appear from the harassment directed against Pinelli and his friends since 25 April that he and the Anarchist Black Cross had been agreed on by the various parties to the conspiracy. So far as the security services and fascists were concerned, implicating the ABC as the political and organisational inspiration for the bombings would represent a much more convincing and plausible scapegoat than the teenagers of the Rome 22 March Group. In addition, it would permit them to implicate a man considered by the authorities of prime importance in the Italian left, the marxist publisher Giacomo Feltrinelli, who, in the eyes of the right, represented the main danger to the Italian status quo. By showing Feltrinelli to be a murderer as opposed to a highly considered leftist publisher, they would not only rid themselves of a dangerous and troublesome enemy, but would also deliver a severe blow to the Italian left.
It was Feltrinelli who had supplied an alibi for his two anarchist friends, Giovanni and Eliane Corradini, who had been arrested in connection with the 25 April bombing. The right-wing and centre press had also named Feltrinelli as the main financier of the anarchist groups and the instigator of the bombing campaign.1 Pinelli, in turn, was a close friend of the Corradini's, who were also active in the Anarchist Black Cross, and in Calabresi's eyes Pino was the man to tie the whole anarchist conspiracy together. If he could be induced to make the necessary statements the success of the whole operation would be assured, as Pinelli himself was in no way suspect as a man who had long repudiated political violence.
As Pinelli was a highly esteemed comrade any statement made by him concerning anarchist involvement in the outrage would be the ideal finishing touch to the whole manoeuvre.
The provocateurs had done their work well. They were well aware that discussions had taken place between Pinelli and the other comrades at the Ponte della Ghisolfa concerning methods of resisting what they believed to be an imminent rightist coup in which they would be number one targets. These discussions, which necessarily involved preparations for clandestine activity, could easily be presented in a damning light. The provocateurs and infiltrators had successfully penetrated the group and were stoking the fires and pushing the debate to extremes, urging the need to move from theory and the preparation of contingency plans to practice. In the meantime, terrorist actions had been carried out intended to prepare public opinion against the anarchists.
Giuseppe Pinelli was to provide the finishing touch. The interrogation followed the normal pattern of intimidation: erosion of his physical and mental resistance, and the threat of being named as one of the perpetrators of the massacre. Pinelli did not break and the interrogations moved on to the “third degree.” It would appear that during this more violent final phase of Pinelli’s interrogation the anarchist realised the full ramifications of the entire plot, and that, intuitively, he understood they were trying to draw him into a trap. The names and circumstances mentioned by the police would have made Pinelli realise that at least one provocateur had infiltrated the group and he would have quickly divined the connections between this man, Antonio Sottosanti, alias “Nino the fascist” a man very similar in appearance to Pietro Valpreda and his interrogators. Faced with the knowledge that Pinelli was fully cognisant of their involvement to the plot, the policemen present who were so involved could hardly afford to let him be released. One of the many blows was crucial and left Pinelli slumped in his chair, unconscious or dead.
With Pinelli not only unwilling to play their game but now fully aware of the extent to which at least some of his captors were involved in the conspiracy in which he was being cast in a central role, the only alternative scenario was for the honourable anarchist to appear to take his own life when it became clear to him his ideals had been betrayed. According to the statements made by the five police officers present — Calabresi, Panessa, Mucilli, Mainardi and carabinieri lieutenant Sabino Logrono — Pinelli’s final words as he threw himself out of the window were “This is the end…” (of anarchism). So far as the authorities were concerned Pinelli’s suicide was therefore an act of self-incrimination.
Police Inspector Luigi Calabresi was himself murdered on 17 May 1972. The killer, covering his face with a newspaper, approached his intended victim at about 9.15 a.m. shortly after he left his home in Milan's Via Cherubini and fired three shots into Calabresi as he was about to get into his car. Patrice Chairoff (see text) claims Calabresi's murder had nothing to do with his involvement in the death of Pinelli. Chairoff believes that Calabresi was killed because of his investigations into Mondialexport, an import-export agency which served as a cover for a section of the West German intelligence service BND known as BND II. Ostensibly dealing in bulk foodstuffs, Mondialexport, under the control of SS veteran Gerhardt Mertens, an associate of Otto Skorzeny, was in fact an important international arms smuggling operation and a source of laundered funds for clandestine BND II operations in Italy and elsewhere.
Calabresi's murderers, all identified, were known neo-fascists and contract agents of the Paladin organisation (see text) and BND II:
Gianni Nardi — son of a billionaire industrialist previously implicated in the murder of a Milan fireman in 1967.
Bruno Stefano — prominent member of Delle Chiaie's AN organisation.
Gudrun Keiss — a girlfriend of Bruno Stefano and former star of Scandinavian pornographic films. Chairoff states she has worked for West German intelligence since December 1970. Believed to have driven the getaway car following the murder.
Jean Vincent Martini — Avanguardia Nazionale activist from South Tyrol, recruiting agent for Angolan mercenaries and main Paladin agent in Belgium. Identified as one of Paladin’s killers in Paladin's anti-ETA contract.
According to Chairoff, BND II is in fact the West German section of the secret intelligence organisation within NATO, the Italian section of which was the Rose of the Winds. In 1977 the BND II was allegedly controlled from the main espionage centre at 33 Heilmannstrasse, D-Pullach bei Munchen, by one Dieter Blotz (a.k.a. Jan Helmers). In Rome the parallel BND operated (1977) under the cover of another export-import agency in the Via G. C-boni, an address which also provided cover for the Paladin group, Aginter Press and World Service (Chairoff, as has been mentioned, actually ran the Athens-based World Service under the noms-de-guerre of Dr Siegfried Schoenenberg and N. Kalchi).
The BND II case officers in Rome in 1977 were, according to Chairoff: Herbert Schlesinger – responsible for the control and coordination of neo- Nazi and fascist activities, overseeing existing groups and, when necessary, creating new groups to meet the requirements of the moment.
Penkowski – a former lieutenant in German military intelligence (MAD – Militarischen Abschirmdienst, based at Bruhlerstrasse 300, MAD Cologne). Penkowski allegedly controls infiltrated cells of the Red Brigades, the NAP, the Proletari dei Quartieri, the Gioventu Proletaria and the New Partisans. (It is interesting to speculate that the order for the murder of Aldo Moro, which served primarily the interests of the extreme right in Italy, may well have emanated from this source. The rightists behind the 1964 Plan Solo plot had planned a similar end for Moro.) The Roman station chief of this section of the BND responsible for the above-named officers was, again according to Chairoff, one Erik Mullinken who reported direct to the Bavarian spy centre.
- 1 Giacomo Feltrinelli was killed in a bomb explosion in Northern Italy in 1972. He was supposed by the police to have been leader of the Armed Partisan Groups (GAP), and to have been attempting to blow up an electricity pylon at the time of his death.
Appendix E: Mario Merlino
On his return from Athens in 1968 Merlino formed the “XXII March Group,” after the Nanterre group of libertarians that sparked the May events in France that year. The pseudo-libertarian group, which appeared in public some days later at a demonstration outside the French Embassy in Rome under a black banner (with the Roman numerals). As the demonstration was dispersed the XXII March group burned two cars with petrol bombs and the following day Il Tempo talked about preordained plans, urban guerrilla tactics and blind violence with which thugs manipulated by the PCI damaged and set fire to the vehicles of private citizens.
However, it had been recognised as a provocation by the left, who had noted the presence of Stefano Delle Chiaie, Serafino di Luia and other well known Italian fascists. A month after its inception, the XXII March Group was abandoned and with it, presumably, any attempt at a Paris-style provocation.
Merlino then made overtures to the Maoist Avanguardia Proletaria to whom he boasted of having contacts with the publishers of L’Etincelle (Aginter), but the Marxist-Leninists were not falling for it. He next tried again with the Maoist Partita Comunista d’ltalia (Linea Rossa) where no one knew him, but he came undone when his name appeared in the papers in connection with a fascist attack on the PCI HQ in Rome. In the autumn and winter of 1968 he reemerged at the Faculty of Education in Rome where he was involved in various provocations.
In May 1969 Merlino approached a member of the Maoist Unione del Comunisti Italiani (which he tried to infiltrate), asking him a favour. It was shortly after the bombing of the Palace of Justice in Rome and he said he was afraid his place would be searched and he needed to hide some compromising material. Would the comrade hold on to it for a bit until the heat died down? The Unione man said he would and Merlino handed over the fuse wire and detonators. Two days later the police raided his house, but the wise comrade had had the good sense to get rid of it the day it was given to him. That finished Merlino so far as the Marxist-Leninist left was concerned.
In September 1969 the only sector in which he was not compromised was that of the anarchists. He passed himself off as a victim of police harassment to a young anarchist and thereby sought an introduction to the Bakunin Group in Rome.
When Merlino arrived at the Bakunin Group, the membership was already split into two factions. The majority, who were under criticism from the younger members such as Pietro Valpreda and Emilio Bagnoli, were confronted with charges of being bureaucrats, elitists and unable to adapt to the new perspectives opened up by the student and workers struggles.
Merlino quickly sided with the enragé faction and his presence was an important factor in the worsening relations between the two groups and the decision to form a new one. He even offered to raise the necessary funds, 150,000 lire, allegedly emanating from some unnamed Catholic group. In late October 1969 the differences were so great that the Bakunin Group split, with Merlino’s faction taking the name 22nd March Group (with arabic numerals this time), again in an attempt to capitalise on the publicity surrounding the name of the 1968 Nanterre student group. With him went Valpreda, Bagnoli and about seventeen other youngsters. Most of these were genuine, but there were at least two state agents (police and security service) among them as well.
(Source: Confession/Statement given by Merlino to police following his arrest on Friday 12 December 1969.)
Appendix F: Behind Borghese and Delle Chiaie
There is little doubt that there was a more shadowy group of plotters behind Borghese and Delle Chiaie, a group which includes important factions within the Christian Democratic and Social Democratic parties, the military and, ultimately, NATO and the Americans. The influential Rome weekly L’Espresso (circulation over 300,000) noted that the head of CIA counterintelligence, the rabid rightwinger James Jesus Angleton, the American agent who saved Prince Borghese’s life in 1945 by providing him with a US military uniform and escorting him to Rome, arrived for a private visit to Italy a few weeks before the attempted coup and returned shortly after it had been aborted.
The Milan weekly Panorama (6 November 1975) reported: “To further the implementation of the coup, Borghese’s “National Front” had long since established liaisons with the USA in the person of President Nixon, as well as with members of NATO units stationed at Malta. Before the coup proceeded, a telephone call was made from Rome; it was to have reached the American President in the USA by way of Naples and Malta. For reasons as yet unclear the call got no further than Malta. Off that island, four NATO ships of the US Sixth Fleet were standing by, ready to weigh anchor at the first command in order to carry out a mission of approach and possible support of the putschists action-manoeuvres very similar to those carried out by the US navy off Santiago, Chile on 11 September 1971. According to the later claims of Remo Orlandini, a key figure in the conspiracy, President Nixon had followed all the preparations leading up to the coup through two CIA agents involved in the plot a man named Fenwich, an American engineer with the Selenia company, and an Italo-American by the name of Talenti. Orlandini claims to have heard several telephone conversations in which Fenwich personally briefed the White House on the conspirators plans. These claims are confirmed in an SID memorandum sent to judge Filipo Fiore and public prosecutor Claudio Vitalone.
Neither Fenwich nor Talenti ever answered the magistrate’s summons and it has been impossible to pinpoint their identities. However, during the 1968 US election campaign an Italian American called Pier Talenti, resident in the US since the war, had been one of Nixon’s press attachés. In 1972 the same Talenti established an Italian Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP) which had the job of raising funds among Italian industrialists (in contravention of US legislation).
According to the January 1976 report of the Pike Committee of the US House of Representatives on the CIA and the FBI, one of the primary functions of the CIA from its inception was to disrupt democracy in allied or subject countries. From 1948 to 1968 the CIA and related organisations expended over 65 million dollars in Italy alone to ensure the failure of communist electoral efforts.
Italy is of immense strategic importance to NATO Southern Command. Even without Greek or Turkish bases the US Sixth Fleet and other NATO naval forces could still fulfil their function in the eastern Mediterranean. However, if Italy were to leave the alliance then it is highly probable that NATO Southern Command based in Naples on the Italian mainland and La Maddalena in Sardinia would have to withdraw from the Mediterranean altogether.
In June 1969 Enrico Berlinguer, then Deputy Secretary of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), made a speech outlining his party's attitude to NATO:
“We are struggling so that Italy should not take part in any military or potential bloc, for its exit from NATO and the removal of NATO bases in Italy. We are fighting for a state of neutrality … and for the transformation of the Mediterranean into a sea of peace.”
The continuing weakness of the Italian economy and its governments, combined with a strong indigenous labour movement and the increasing likelihood of PCI involvement in government, provide both NATO and the Americans with a strong motive for neutralising any shift to the left in Italian politics. In the view of the NATO planners, the entry of the PCI into government as urged by Aldo Moro would have far-reaching repercussions and seriously upset the balance of “East-West” relations. For the right, the prospect of communist involvement in government would mean the end of NATO.
Noam Chomsky has written on the subject of US destabilisation at length and with some insight:
“These activities are not sporadic or ‘out of control’, but are systematic, relatively independent of political changes, and in general organised at the highest levels of state. According to the Pike Committee. ‘All evidence in hand suggests that the CIA, far from being out of control, has been utterly responsive to the instructions of the President and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.’ The ‘great majority’ of its covert action projects were proposed by parties outside the CIA, that is by the civilian agencies that used the CIA, in effect, as a secret army of the Presidency.
“These programmes formed a part of the successful US governmental effort, abetted by the US labour bureaucracy, to split and weaken the European labour movement and in general to restore European capitalism and ensure US dominance of most of the industrial world. The Pike Committee gives this quantitative estimate: ‘From 1965 to date, 32 per cent of Forty Committee approved covert action projects were for providing some form of financial election support to foreign parties and individuals.’ The Forty Committee is the ‘review and approval mechanism for covert action’ directly controlled by the President. These efforts to subvert democracy constitute the largest covert action category of the CIA and are directed primarily against the Third World.
… Indirectly, then, the Pike Committee report also leads to some interesting speculations with regard to US government policy. ... Some of the CIA activities are remarkable in their cynicism. To cite one case, the CIA supported the rebellion of the Kurds in Iran while the US acted to prevent a political settlement that might have prepared a degree of Kurdish autonomy. Kissinger, Nixon and the Shah also insisted on a no win policy so that the revolt would persist, undermining both Iran and the Kurdish movement. With a shift in international politics, the Kurds were sold out. The US then refused even humanitarian assistance to its former allies and they were crushed by force. The reason was explained to the Pike Committee Staff by a high government official: covert action should not be confused with missionary work.
(The Secret Terror Organisation of the US Government, in Noam Chomsky, Radical Priorities, Black Rose Books, Montreal, Canada, 1982.)
It would appear likely that Prince Borghese and his fellow plotters were being set, up as victims of a CIA/NATO stratagem similar to that employed against the Kurds and other manipulated minorities.
Appendix G: Otto Skorzeny
Otto Skorzeny (1908-1975) was one of the first members of the Austrian Nazi party in 1935 and a leading member of the Vienna Gymnastic Club, a Nazi front organisation which played a prominent role in the Anschluss. At the outbreak of war in 1939 Skorzeny was running his own engineering firm when he volunteered for the Luftwaffe but was rejected on the grounds of his age. He then joined the Das Reich Division of the Waffen SS as a technical expert. In 1943 he was given command of the newly formed “Oranienberg Special Purposes Regiment”. Skorzeny was offered the new SS unit because of his close relationship with the Austrian SS police leader and later SS General Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who had succeeded Reinhardt Heydrich as head of the Reich security office, the RHSA, following Heydrich’s assassination by Czech resistance fighters in May 1942.
On 12 September 1943 Skorzeny's special forces effected the release of Benito Mussolini from a mountaintop hotel in the Gran Sasso where he was being held prisoner by the new Italian government. Although Skorzeny planned the escape operation, his insistence on accompanying the raiding party under the command of Lieutenant Von Bernlepsch placed the whole mission in jeopardy; his size and weight almost prevented the light aircraft from taking off.
In July 1944 Martin Bormann, Hitler’s Deputy, personally handed Skorzeny an order signed by Hitler calling upon “all personnel, military and civil” to assist Skorzeny in any way, stating that he had been charged directly with secret and personal orders of the utmost importance. During the confusion following the 20 July plot against Hitler, Skorzeny became the effective C-in-C of all German Home Forces for 24 hours and played a crucial role in ensuring the failure of the plot. It has been alleged that it was Skorzeny himself who ordered the summary executions of Colonel Ludwig Beck, Claus von Stauffenberg, Olbricht, Merz von Quirnheim and Werner von Haeften, the leaders of the plot. Skorzeny denied these charges, but it is also worth noting that until his death he also denied playing any part in the activities of the Nazi party until late 1939 and then to have had as little as possible to do with the party during the war itself; after the defeat of the Third Reich he continually denied any involvement whatsoever with the postwar Nazi and neo-fascist movements denials which are at odds with the known facts.
In November 1944 Skorzeny was appointed head of the sabotage section of Dept. VI of the Reich Security Office and began training foreign intelligence agents and terrorists to continue the war behind the allied lines. These agents were mostly recruited from French, Italian, Belgian and Spanish fascist and extreme right-wing organisations such as the Milice and the “Mouvement Sociale Revolutionnaire”. Skorzeny’s final task of the war, he claimed, was to create the nucleus of a corps to defend Hitler’s alpine redoubt at the Eagle’s Nest in the Alto Adige on the Austro-Hungarian border. In fact his task was to co-ordinate the escape and evasion networks of leading Nazis. The stories of a fortified zone in the Austrian Alps were part of a disinformation exercise connived at by US intelligence chief Allan Dulles and elements of the Nazi party and Wehrmacht to provide the latter with an orderly breathing space to ensure the German political and social infrastructure remained intact as a “cordon sanitaire” against Bolshevism. SS Major-General Prince Maximilian von Hohenlohe who had been in contact with Dulles on Himmler’s orders since mid-1943 reported: “Dulles does not reject the basic idea and deeds of National Socialism” but he deplored its excesses. (Hohenlohe was later appointed to a top job in the Gehlen organisation and made an adviser to the US State Department.)
On 16 April 1945 Otto Skorzeny and Karl Radl, his adjutant, surrendered, in uniform, to a US command post where he was charged with having contravened the Geneva Convention (by having fought in enemy uniform during the Battle of the Bulge, November 1944). Interrogated personally by OSS General William Donovan – and apparently recruited by him into US intelligence – Skorzeny was eventually acquitted in 1947 on the strength of evidence given on his behalf by British military intelligence officer Captain Yeo-Thomas. Skorzeny then applied for “denazification”, but there were too many intelligence reports pertaining to him; one French intelligence officer described him as an “unregenerate bastard”.
In 1948 Skorzeny managed to escape from the allied “denazification” camp at Oberursal. He was assisted in his escape by the Nazi evasion networks he had been responsible for organising during the final stages of the war and with the connivance of the US Army's 66th counter-intelligence corps.
Skorzeny was recruited into Reinhardt Gehlen’s intelligence organisation, a creation of the newly formed CIA under Allan Dulles and Richard Helms, the then CIA Station Chief in Germany. He travelled extensively throughout Europe and Latin America on intelligence business for both Gehlen and the CIA. In 1950 he established his home base in Madrid where, under cover of an engineering and export-import business, he handled the financial affairs of the ‘Circle of Friends” (having reclaimed Nazi party funds from Eva Peron), coordinated the Nazi escape and evasion networks and built up an international intelligence gathering and mercenary recruitment agency. Skorzeny was also appointed security adviser to various right-wing governments in Latin America as well as Spain where he was employed in an advisory capacity by the Interior Ministry to assist the notorious Brigada Politico Social.
In 1953 Skorzeny was invited by CIA chief Allan Dulles, through his father-in-law Hjalmar Schacht, Hitler’s ex-financial consultant and president of the Reichsbank, to help reorganise the security services of the new Republic of Egypt under General Neguib and, later, Colonel Nasser. Skorzeny’s salary in this undertaking was subsidised by the CIA. It was because of his involvement with the events leading up to the Suez Crisis in 1956 that Skorzeny was refused entry into Britain, in spite of a strong intervention on his behalf by at least one senior SAS officer.
Canadian journalist Omar Anderson wrote the following in an article in the Montreal Star in 1960:
“Otto Skorzeny … has been a leading figure in Bonn’s negotiations for Bundeswehr bases in Spain … Aggrieved German diplomats in Madrid have complained to the Foreign Office here that Skorzeny enjoys something akin to celebrity status with the Spanish government. … Skorzeny himself credits his Madrid-acquired influence to my friends from Nuremberg, a reference to Skorzeny’s incarceration as a witness for the Nuremberg war crimes proceedings against German commercial trusts. On 31 August 1960, speaking at the Delkey Literary, Historical Debating Society at the Cliff Castle Hotel in the Republic of Ireland where he had bought a house the previous year, Skorzeny commented on the question of inferior races: “There should not be talk of inferior or superior races. It is clear, however, that some races are without proof of culture.”
In 1964, following the escape of a major Nazi war criminal, Zech Nenntwichs, new stories began to circulate concerning Skorzeny’s involvement in various Nazi escape and evasion networks such as Die Spinne and ODESSA.
In 1969 Skorzeny was appointed security adviser to the Colombian Ministry of the Interior. The request for his assistance was channelled through the German ambassador in Bogota, Ernst Ludwig von Ror. In 1972 the Bolivian businessman and security adviser Klaus Altmann, otherwise known as Klaus Barbie, named Otto Skorzeny as the chief of the Die Spinne network which Barbie claimed commanded the loyalty of 100,000 fascist sympathisers in 22 countries and which was funded by Nazi investments controlled by Skorzeny. (Altmann, or Barbie, was the Bolivian agent for an export-import agency registered in Augsburg and was also the manager of the landlocked Bolivian navy, Transmaritima Boliviana, registered in Panama and Hamburg, a company which was entirely run by German businessmen.) Also in 1972, Otto Skorzeny met various South African generals. One of his close friends and colleagues in South Africa was Lieutenant-General Friedrich Wilhelm von Mellethin, ex- Chief of Staff of 4 Panzer Army, a director of Trek Airways, an airline which specialises in police and security charter operations in South Africa. Later investigations into the “Rose of the Winds” conspiracy in Italy confirmed that in the summer of 1973 Skorzeny had attended a meeting of the conspirators in the home of the fascist doctor Gian Paolo Porta Cassucia. In September 1973 the Dublin Evening Express announced that Skorzeny was seriously ill in Spain with cancer of the nervous system. This report was taken up by the Washington Post, which identified him as being a major arms broker for Portugal and an agent of the massive Interarms company based in Virginia. Skorzeny, the paper alleged, had been trafficking in arms for many years to many sub-Saharan African countries. On 6 July 1975 Skorzeny died in Madrid to be followed on 21 November by Franco.
Appendix H: Lodge P2
Freemasonry is, perhaps, the most large-scale political organisation of the middle-class in every Western nation. The Grand Orient of Italy, a particularly powerful institution, is no exception. One important difference between the Grand Orient of Italy and the Grand Lodge of England the – mother lodge – is the existence in Italy of covered or secret lodges whose membership is unknown even to the council members of the Grand Orient, the ultimate masonic authority in Italy. The purpose of these secret lodges is to bring together into a single discreet body “brothers” who hold high public and private office and who wish to remain unknown to other (lesser) brethren while at the same time strengthening and extending a covert decision-making network within the organs of traditional power.
There are two secret lodges under the Grand Orient of Italy – “P1” and “P2” (P standing for Propaganda) both of which are hotbeds of corruption and reaction. “P1” – of lesser importance both generally and in the present context – came under the direct control of Lino Salvini, a doctor who was elected Grand Master of Italy’s masons in 1970. He immediately used his influence to involve the Masonic movement in a series of political and financial intrigues, including moves to sabotage the amalgamation of Italy’s three main trade unions, which eventually led to an investigation of his activities by the Grand Lodge of New York (the world’s most powerful lodge with 400,000 registered members) and the breaking off of relations with the Grand Orient of Italy by the Grand Lodges of Michigan, Texas and Indiana. Salvini’s manoeuvres against the Italian trade union movement had the financial backing of Fiat and Confindustria (the Italian employers’ organisation) to the tune of 80 to 90 million lire a year.
By far the most important of the two secret lodges was that controlled by Licio Gelli, an old-guard fascist from the Mussolini era who fled to Argentina following disclosures that he had been involved in the torture and murder of Italian partisans. Gelli was intimately involved with the regime of the Argentinian dictator Juan Peron (1947-54) and remained in Argentina for twenty years before returning to Italy with the position of honourary Argentine consul. (Witnesses claim to have seen Peron kneel at Gelli’s feet for reasons upon which one can only speculate.)
Initiated into masonry in 1964, Gelli became organising secretary for Lodge P2 and immediately set about restructuring it. Until Gelli came along P2 had been a lodge in decline; its membership consisted of middle-rank civil servants, junior officers and small businessmen. Within two years, through his vast international network of political, military and business contacts, particularly strong among the power elites of the Latin dictatorships, Gelli had more than doubled the lodge’s membership to 573, the majority from among the upper echelons of Italian and Argentinian public and private life. Jealous of the growing power of P2, which had acquired a reputation for complete discretion and obsessive anticommunism (with a membership which rocketed following the discovery and investigation into the “Rose of the Winds” conspiracy in 1974/5) the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy, Lino Salvini, attempted to depose Gelli and replace him with a more compliant “brother”. He wrote an abrupt letter of dismissal to Gelli which concluded: “I find you sympathetic, but I am discharging you.” Salvini had sadly underestimated the power of his rival. Gelli made it quite clear to Salvini that unless he withdrew the dismissal notice he would have him in prison within half an hour. The threat was taken seriously. Not only was Gelli reinstated immediately, he was raised to the grade of “Worshipful Master”.
During the fraud investigation into Michele Sindona’s Banca Privata Italiana, a conduit for mafia, Vatican, fascist and secret service money, police searching Gelli’s villa discovered a list of 953 members of P2. The coded list included three cabinet ministers, thirty generals, eight admirals, including the head of the armed forces, the heads of two intelligence services as well as the civilian collator of intelligence, 43 MPs, police chiefs of Italy’s four main cities, the mayors of Brescia and Pavia and the editor of the influential Milan daily Corriere della Sera. Further investigation revealed a more detailed coded register indicating a membership of 2,400 “brothers” all powerful men in their own spheres contending to mould events to suit the national interest as perceived by the selfseeking power elite.
Solemn ex-communication by the Catholic Church for baptised believers who became freemasons has been revoked for some years now. Although the anathema still survives in canon law this too is undergoing revision, and the document from the Congregation for Doctrine and the Faith, together with a series of official pronouncements, have more or less cemented the peace between the Vatican and freemasonry.
Appendix I: Delle Chiaie’s CIA contacts
Stefano Delle Chiaie’s alleged CIA contacts:
William Jones – no details (could be William Charles Jones III, executive director Bureau of Intelligence Research, director Office Intelligence Liaison 7/73).
Ernesto M. Lancina – no details.
Richard H. Courtenaye – b Calif 3/27/23. U Calif (Los Angeles) BA 44, Harvard U MPA 56. US Army 4346 capt overseas. GOVT EXPER chief broadcast dept War Dept 46-47. STATE Dept 0-6 6/47. Barcelona cons off 11/47. Mexico DF pub off asst 9/48. Quito econ off 11/50, 0-5 6/51. Kobe cons-econ off 9/53. Dept. det adv econ study Harvard U 9/55, 0-4 2/57. Madrid 0-5 econ off 7/56, 0-4 2/58. Dept intell rsch spec 1/59, chief Middle Am br Off Resch-Anls for Am Reps 7/59, chief Inter-Am Pol Div 5-9/61, 12/61, dir Off Resch-Anls for Am Reps 10-12/61, 0-3 4/62. Quebec prin off 7/62 cons gen 9/62. Windsor 6/64. Tijuana cons off 8/68. Dept det Off Econ Opportunity 3/7 1. Tangier prin off 6/73. Langs Fr. Soan. (w - Norma Drew).
Richard Jerome Scott – b Ind 12/18/30. Un Notre Dame BA 58. US Army 5254 overseas. PRIV EXPER writer publ co 4558, STATE dept R-8 3158, 0-8 7158, intell resch spec 10/58. Panama cons and pol off 4/60, 0-7 2/61. Valencia cons off (Gen) 10/62. Vancouver visa off 1/65, 0-6 5/65, 0-5 4/67, FSO gen 7/67. Dept int rel off 7/68, pol-mil aff off 5/70. Bangkok 7/71. Lang. Span. (w – Dorothy Shefano).
Charles Willard Brown – b Calif 9/6/1919. Am U BS 56. USCG, 4245. PRIV EXPER 3740, 46. GOVT EXPER 4042, with city state govts 495 1. STATE Dept GS-9 investigator (Los Angeles) 2/51, GS-1 1 spec agt 2/54, GS-12 investigator 11/55. Bonn R-5 reg admin spec 5/56, 0-5 6/56, 0-5 2/57. Dept pers off 1/59, det pub admin studies admin off 5/66, asst exec dir Bu African Aff 2168, dir Allowances Staff 3170, 0-2 5172, Nairobi admin off 2174 (w – Georgette Townsend), Foreign Service Classification List, November 1977FSO 2 Step 6 5/72.
Moffett, William Adgar III – b Calif 11127/39. U Va BA 62. United States Marine Corps 6265 maj overseas. PRIV EXPER mgmt trainee distribtrans corp 6567. GOVT EXPER programme analyst Dept of Army 6773. STATE Port-au-Prince R-7 econ-commercial officer 1/73 (w – Anne Dekle). Source: Patrice Chairoff.
Appendix J: Interview with La Bruna
Q. Captain, you're always at the centre of the most unedifying polemics. How come? A few weeks ago the fugitive fascist Stefano Delle Chiaie said, in the course of an interview with Enzo Biagi, that La Bruna, which is to say, yourself, had something to do with the Piazza Fontana bombs.
A. The usual old refrain. It has even been reported that… let’s say … that mission is what earned me my captains stars. But I have a cast-iron alibi. For years I have said nothing. Now let me speak out. From September 1969 to early March 1970 I was involved in another, highly delicate mission. That, too, even now is shrouded in the confidentiality which must attend our work as special agents. I am fed up. I ask those in a position to do so (i.e., my superiors) to release me from my burden of silence.
Q. The man in the street knows nothing of your affairs. Let me ask you, to begin with, how on earth you, a servant of the State, ever came to hobnob with this Delle Chiaie character, an extreme right-wing fanatic who has been wanted for years.
A. I ran across him in Barcelona, on exactly 30 November to 2 December 1972. The meeting was the idea of a journalist introduced to me by General Gianadelio Maletti, my direct superior. I and the journalist were to co-operate in ascertaining certain facts regarding the son-in-law of the oil magnate Attilio Monti. But at the last moment it fell through. However, he did put me in touch with Delle Chiaie.
Q. What did you talk about?
A. He told me of the movement which he led. When he had finished, I told him that I would be reporting back to my superiors and, on the specific instructions of Maletti, spoke this phrase to him: “Rest assured that whatever may happen, the general will not lift a finger against you”. Now they accuse me of having invited him to co-operate with the SID, I do not see why, if it was true, I should conceal the fact since I was only carrying out orders received from above. Anyway I never did issue that invitation.
Q. How come you did not arrest him? He was and is one of the heads of the black international. He is wanted for nearly all of the fascist outrages which have swamped the streets of Italy in blood over the past 14 years.
A. Your question is badly framed. You ought to have asked me how come they never instructed me to arrest him. Anyway, I don't know the answer to that. If it was up to anyone to tip off the Spanish police as to where Delle Chiaie was hiding out it was them … the people in Rome. The fact remains that in his interview with Biagi, this gentleman stated that every so often he still goes home to Italy. Which means that he feels safe and well protected.
Q. A loyal executor of orders, then. Could it be, La Bruna, that like the Germans of the Nuremberg trial, you always hide behind the formula I was only carrying out orders.?
A. Yes, and I will demonstrate it. If you will permit, though, I should like to open with a premise. What was the SID? An agency which had at its head General Vito Micelli to begin with and Admiral Mario Casardi thereafter. They had the oversight of five departments … D office which handled internal security; R office dealing with intelligence from abroad; S office which gleaned from the official sources and the press … the USI office was given over to industrial security and then there was the Logistics Office. Yours truly was attached to D office under General Maletti. We in turn were subdivided into three sections counterespionage, military police and (once again) internal security. I was in command of the NOD, an operational squad comprising four men in all. It goes without saying that I could carry out only those actions determined by my superiors.
Q. NOD has been named as a sort of private gang, a SID within the SID, a cancer that had grown up inside the secret services, a deranged monster.
A. Balls. All complete balls. I have never worked off my own bat. It was Maletti who gave the orders on every occasion. Even later on when we wound up on trial. During the Piazza Fontana massacre proceedings I did no more than obey. And I have proof of what I say. I have scrupulously preserved the memoranda which the general wrote me indicating which answers I should give to the judges. I placed my trust in him because he was au fait with the whole episode in all of its complexity and did not know only the odd detail as I did.
Q. Answer this question please. Is it or is it not true that in the 1970s you helped smuggle out of Italy certain Palestinian terrorists held in prison for some very serious outrages?
A. Strictly speaking, it was not I who rescued them from prison. But it is true, I was assigned the task of escorting them abroad. Orders from above. The person who passed them to me had, in turn, received them from those involved in political activity, from parliamentarians and ministers.
Q. But is it normal practice of the secret services to set free those bandits which the police and carabinieri go to such trouble to apprehend?
A. In certain instances its the opportune thing to do. In the supreme interests of the nation. The same sort of thing goes on pretty well everywhere. There are those like me, who do the dirty work and handle things to do with foreign policy which cannot be done openly and which are off limits as far as ministers are concerned.
Q. Just one point. What did Italy get in return that time?
A. I don't know. But in those years nothing happened to us. There were no attacks and no other terrorist acts of an international nature.
Q. In short, the PLO kept quiet. Let’s turn now from red terrorism to the black kind you covered up for, and helped smuggle abroad Guido Giannettini and Marco Pozzan, neo-fascists involved in the inquiry into the poor people killed that tragic 12 December in 1969 in the Piazza Fontana.
A. I wasn't really able to help anybody. That was demonstrated at the Catanzaro trial. I shall never tire of reiterating it: I was an operative, a subordinate and it has never been the case that a subordinate is able to procure phoney documents and safe conducts for his pals. Giannettini left under his own steam, using his own passport and with a plane ticket acquired from some travel agency or other. Sure, Maletti knew all about it, but he didn't tell me to stop him. And let’s move on to Pozzan. Yes, my men escorted him to the frontier. But to leave the country he used a passport. He used one supplied by D office.
Q. In whose interests was it that these gentlemen should be smuggled out?
A. You shouldn't be asking me that.
Q. Fair enough, but we will ask you how come your name features on the list of P2 members.
A. I joined the P2 because I was invited to join by Colonel Antonio Viezzer, the head of Maletti’s secretariat. I consulted Maletti and he answered with a phrase that dispelled any doubts I had: The carabinieri must have eyes and ears everywhere. So I went to see Licio Gelli at the Excelsior Hotel in Rome. I was escorted by Viezzer, though he denies it.
Q. None of you secret agents were absent from the P2. When did you discover that the delightful company included so many, so very, very many of your superiors?
A. Whenever the membership lists were made public. Doubtless I had had the odd suspicion. I escorted Maletti and his wife too many times to Castiglion Fibocchi, to Gelli’s firm. They would buy clothes and replace their wardrobes, all at knock-down prices I suppose.
Q. And did the Worshipful Master ever do you any favours?
A. No, unfortunately not. I did ask a favour of him when I came out of prison and was suspended from the service. I wanted him to help me find a job and rebuild my life. But all he could offer me was a chance to go to South America. I turned this down because I definitely did not want anyone saying Captain La Bruna runs away.
Q. Let us change scene. And talk about petroleum. For Italians, that means Libya. Is it true that you kept a watchful eye out for Colonel Ghedaffi?
A. Not I, the State. The SID did do the odd service for Ghedaffi … for instance, the so-called Hilton Operation. The Italian secret services blew a coup attempt devised by mercenaries who were aiming to free opponents of the Libyan regime and seize Tripoli.
Q. How did you disentangle yourselves from your triple games? If it came to your attention that your Libyan or Palestinian friends were preparing for attacks on your Israeli allies (or vice versa) what was your next move?
A. In our trade one has to be really subtle. Strategic choices are a matter for the experts, thus, a matter for the politicians and not for military men. The last word always belongs to the entourage of some minister. It all depends on what suits the country at any given moment.
Q. Another twist, another story. Unlike Maletti, you and Micelli have been named as friends of the far right. Is it coincidence that today Micelli sits in Parliament on the benches of Giorgio Almirante’s MSI?
A. Whereas I sit on the accused bench. I've done my time and still I face another accusation, of misrepresentation in the matter of Pozzan’s passport and also in connection with the P2 episode. To tell the truth, the idea of Maletti’s passing himself off as a democrat is one I have always found risible. If he is, if he really is one how come he did not stay here to await the findings of the magistrature? How come he decamped to South Africa, leaving me in the shit?
Q. Odd. Maletti accuses La Bruna of all manner. of nefarious deeds and decamps, La Bruna stands his ground and defends himself by pointing the finger at Maletti. But hadn't you been such pals once upon a time?
A. There is no friendship between superior and subordinate. There are too many things which divide them-ambition, career, etc. The subordinate is dispatched into danger but by the time he realises he has been used it is too late. I was a pal of Maletti’s. Only many years later did I learn that he, instead, had dropped me in it time and again, drafting the worst sort of reports about me and about my work. Who can say? Maybe his aim was to offload on to me the blame for his guilty conscience.
Q. What else did Maletti do to you?
A. He accused me of having supplied to the journalist Mino Pecorelli the dossiers which he had built up at the end of 1975 on the petroleum scandal which later set the Italy of the powerful atrembling. The dossier contained virtually the whole story of the immense fraud favoured by high-ranking officers of the Guardia di Finanza. But I was not the one who passed them to Pecorelli. The file was in Maletti’s office safe for safekeeping. And he was the one to place it in the records shortly before he was removed from his post. I have no idea who it was who sold it to him. All I know is that after he made it public, Pecorelli was killed. And Maletti cut the cord.
Q. Weren't there a little too many deaths in all of these stories? Apart from the attentats and the Pecorelli business, I can think of generals killed in traffic accidents that were never accounted for, or who committed suicide without any motives.
A. You have said it. Let me tell you that, when I was in the service, my own car was interfered with on two occasions. It is a miracle that I am still alive.
Q. All things considered, La Bruna, would you be a secret agent if you had it to do all over again?
A. Yes. Despite the problems and the misadventures I would do it all again. Yes. Because its something that gets into the blood. The SID was not all that much worse than other agencies. Even todays reformed agencies have their problems.
La Bruna is right. Times change but the stories are much the same. Micelli and Maletti (P2 members) were succeeded by General Guiseppe Santovito (himself also a registered P2 member). Then he was wanted and today magistrates in Trento would like to question him regarding certain arms trafficking. The interview is over. The man with the pomaded hair puts some heaps of papers into order. From these papers he will one day construct a book on his Italy, the Italy of mysteries.
Stefano Jesurum and Gian Palo Rossetti (helped by Mario Biasciucci)
Oggi no. 20, 18 May 1983
In the lead-up to the interview, there is a quote from the Francoist spy Luis Manuel Gonzales Mata: “Agents, when they have no further information to report, invent some; when there are no more outrages to be prevented, they provoke some; when there is no longer any extremist organisation to infiltrate, they set some up. At the foot of a photo of La Bruna and Maletti in court in Catanzaro in 1981, La Bruna is quoted as saying: Even in the courtroom I always obeyed the orders from my immediate superior Maletti. I gave the testimony he wanted me to give.”
Appendix K: Mario Merlino’s address book
Bruno Bruni 42 42 180
Boffi Gianni 38 80 01
Bologna Adriano 37 04 47 Giovane Halia (MSI), son of an exprefect who belonged to Junio Valerio Borgheses Fronte Nazionale.
Biagioni Lamberto 30 75 411 National leader of the MSI (196467); Giovane Europa (neonazis); Lotta del Popolo (69). Connected with Julius Evola. In 64 did not go on summer holidays because Taradonna had told him that something big was in the pipeline.
Alfredo (Sandro Maluzzi) 47 56 38
Bruno Brandi 80 16 31
Bedetti Paolo 49 59 401
Angelo 34 96 463
Stefano Bertini 84 55 201 MSI. Ordine Nuovo. Visited Greece with Merlino.
Bartuli Mario 59 65 69
Antonio 57 28 28
Alfredo 76 45 81
Luciano Bergamini (Verona) 045/43142
De Giorgi Dario 75 36 37
Colantoni Peppe 21 14 59
Andrea Cimino 51 31 810
Coltellaci Sergio 30 70 969 MSI: Avanguardia Nazionale (one of its founders). Son of a one-time fascist gerarca (hierarch). Close friend of Stefano Delle Chiaie: he has even had Delle Chiaie as his guest in his Pescasseroli villa.
Leopoldo De Medici 87 92 49 Giovane Italia (MSI): Ordine Nuovo; Lotta del
Tito Conforti 51 24 154
Donato Pilolli 83 80 421 MSI: Ordine Nuovo.
Pierluigi Casarelli 49 55 064
Antonio Cangiano 59 43 65
Cacace Mario 43 38 33 Avanguardia Nazionale.
Giancarlo Cartocci 49 57 80 Ordine Nuovo: Movimento Studentesco in Giurisprudenza (Nazi-Maoists); Avanguardia Nazionale. In Greece with Merlino. Distributor among Rome’s fascists of the Soccorso Tricolore funds promoted by Il Borghese.
Stefano Delle Chiaie 72 65 21
Pierfranco Di Giovanni 77 64 87 MSI: Avanguardia Nazionale. Took part in the clashes which led to the death of Paulo Rossi.
Flavio Campo (illegible) Avanguardia Nazionale (one of the founders). Parachutist, ex-boxer, one of the most notorious fascist goons in Rome and at the time a clerk with the Interior Ministry.
Loris Facchinetti 72 26 77 President of Europa Civiltà.
Pierluigi Fioretti 80 41 19 Giovane Italia (MSI).
Noel Salvin 56 42 03
Marco Gaspare 32 04 46 Giovane Italia; infiltrator of the student movement;
Grasso Antonio 30 36 56 Well-known goon, nicknamed “IlBalilla”.
Saverio Ghiacci 53 67 63 One of the founders of Avanguardia Nazionale and loyal henchman of Stefano Delle Chiaie. Noted fascist goon. Very active in the clashes in which Paolo Rossi was killed (one photograph shows him beating
Rossi with a violent punch). Many times questioned by police concerning dynamite attacks. Visited Greece with Merlino.
Franco Gelli 75 76 61
B. Giorgi 76 ... 55 Member of the GAN in Reggio Emilia.
Alfredo Govoni 73 32 13
S– – – Gujos 35 63 341
Domenico Gramozio 85 86 51 Roman Youth Secretary of the MSI. Close friend of Giulio Caradonna. Noted goon.
Maurizio Giorgi 43 93 430 MSI: Avanguardia Nazionale (one of the founders). Present at the fighting in which Paulo Rossi was killed.
Antonio Jezzi 34 92 045 Avanguardia Nazionale; faithful advocate of Stefano Delle Chiaie.
Franco Jappelli 53 44 243 MSI youth leader.
Franco Morganti 48 48 61
Mauroenrico Enrico 74 43 83 Avanguardia Nazionale.
Alfredo Moriconi 68 92 80
Leonardo Molinari 84 47 302
Francesco Manemi 73 07 96
Sandro Meluzzi 47 96 70
Marco Marchetti 55 74 305 Ordine Nuovo: infiltrator of the student
movement; Avanguardia Nazionale. In Greece with Merlino.
Sandro Malagola 42 06 88 MSI youth leader.
Luciano Lago 59 45 37
Bepi Morbiato 52 60 636 Avanguardia Nazionale.
Antonio Moretti 77 70 41
Ignio Macro 76 17 827 Avanguardia Nazionale.
Giovanni Nota 76 15 342
Roberto Pascucci 83 10 618
Enzo Palasso 85 66 06
Bruno Pera 62 24 610 MSI (close to Giulio Caradonna); Lotta di Popolo.
Guido Pagua 31 5 6 32 Avanguardia Nazionale. In March 197 1 he seriously injured a girl student with a brick at Rome University.
Guglielmo Quagliarotti 51 27 940 Avanguardia Nazionale.
Alberto Questa 42 44 896 - Avanguardia Nazionale. Involved in the clashes during which Paolo Rossi was killed.
Roberto Pallotto 75 88 589 Avanguardia Nazionale member; very loyal to Delle Chiaie. Often arrested on suspicion of dynamite attacks.
Mimmo Pilolli 83 16 403 MSI (national leadership); Ordine Nuovo; infiltrated the PC d'I (linea rossa) in 1968; Avanguardia Nazionale.
Sandro Pisano 65 67 923 Ordine Nuovo. The person to whom Merlino (according to a statement he made to the police) used to pass information for transmission to Junio Valerio Borghese.
Chicco Pamphili 46 15 52
AttilioPasqualini 42 47 017 MSI youthleader.
Maurizio Piccetta 73 12 426
Francesco Pugliese 32 74 924
Luigi Presenti 42 89 59
Ernesto Roli 42 61 583 MSI youth leader.
Cesare Perri 42 43 247 Avanguardia Nazionale (a founder). Loyal to Stefano
Delle Chiaie; Ordine Nuovo. In Greece with Merlino.
Teodoro Silos-Calo 53 64 76 MSI youth leader.
Adriano Romualdi 34 86 35 MSI national leader. Son of MSI parliamentarian Pino Romualdi
Angelino Rossi 29 16 14 Noted fascist thug. Brother of Alberto, alias “Il
Bava”, Rossi, head of the MSIs Volontari Nazionali. The pair trained at a
paramilitary camp in Prenestino with Caradonnas squads.
Franco Spallone 62 26 596 MSI youth leader.
Franco Tarantelli 47 26 26 - MSI national leader.
Adriano Tilgher 89 27 481 Avanguardia Nazionale. Theoretician of neonazism.
Massimiliano von Stein 31 57 43
- 1 libcom note: Full date missing
Fascism Today A World Survey, Angelo Dei Boca and Mario Giovana, Pantheon Books, New York, 1969
The Great Heroin Coup, Drugs, Intelligence and International Fascism, Henrik Kruger, South End Press, Boston, 1980
L'Orchestre Noir, Frederic Laurent, Stock, Paris, 1978
Dossier Neo-Nazi, Patrice Chairoff, Editions Ramsay, Paris, 1977
La Strage Di Stato – Controinchiesta, Supplemento a Controborghese, Edizioni Samona e Savelli, Rome, 1970
1969-1972 Dalla Strage Alle Elezione, Fotostoria, Milan, 1972
The Death of French Algeria: Wolves in the City, Paul Henissart, Hart-Davis, London, 1970
Greece Under Military Rule, (ed.) Clogg and Yannopoulos, Secker & Warburg, 1972
Skorzeny: Hitler’s Commando, Glenn B. Infield, St Martins Press, New York, 1981
The Real Terror Network: Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda, Edward S. Herman, South End Press, Boston, 1982
Assassination on Embassy Row, John Dinges and Saul Landau, Writers and Readers, London, 1981
Radical Priorities, Noam Chomsky (ed. C.P. Otero), Black Rose, Montreal, 1981
Histoire de lOAS, Jean-Jacques Susini, La Table Ronde, Paris, 1963
Les Combats, Joseph Ortiz, Editions de la PensÈe Moderne, Paris, 1964
Histoire de l'Organisation de l'Armèe Sècrète, Morland, Barange, Martinez,
Juillard, Paris, 1964
Italy Since 1945, Elizabeth Wiskemann, Macmillan, London, 1971
Labyrinth, Taylor Branch and Eugene M. Propper, Penguin, London, 1983
The Belarus Secret, John Loftus, Penguin, London, 1983