The Years of Lead (Italian: Anni di piombo) is a term used for a period of social and political turmoil in Italy that lasted from the late 1960s until the late 1980s, marked by a wave of both left-wing and right-wing incidents of political terrorism.
The Years of Lead are often considered to have begun with the Hot Autumn strikes starting in 1969; the death of the policeman Antonio Annarumma who was killed in a leftist demonstration in November 1969; the Piazza Fontana bombing in December of that year, which killed 17 and was likely perpetrated by right-wing terrorists in Milan; and the subsequent death of Giuseppe Pinelli while in police custody.
The term's origin possibly came as a reference to the number of shootings during the period, or a popular 1981 German film Marianne and Juliane, released in Italy as Anni di piombo, which centered on the lives of two members of the West German militant far-left group Red Army Faction which had gained notoriety during the same period.
|Years of Lead|
|Part of Cold War|
|Date||Late 1968 – mid 1988 (20 years)|
|Resulted in||Eventual decrease of terrorist activity in Italy:|
|Parties to the civil conflict|
|Total deaths (inc. civilians): 428 + circa 2,000 physical & psychological injuries|
There was widespread social conflict and unprecedented acts of terrorism carried out by both right- and left-wing paramilitary groups. An attempt to endorse the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI) by the Tambroni Cabinet led to rioting and was short-lived. Widespread labor unrest and the collaboration of countercultural student activist groups with working class factory workers and pro-labor radical leftist organizations such as Potere Operaio and Lotta Continua culminated in the so-called "Hot Autumn" of 1969, a massive series of strikes in factories and industrial centers in Northern Italy. Student strikes and labor strikes, often led by workers, leftists, left-sympathizing laborers, or Marxist activists, became increasingly common, often deteriorating into clashes between the police and demonstrators composed largely of workers, students, activists, and often left-wing militants. The Christian Democrats (DC) were instrumental in the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) gaining power in the 1960s and they created a coalition. The assassination of the Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro in 1978 ended the strategy of historic compromise between the DC and the Italian Communist Party (PCI). The assassination was carried out by the Red Brigades, then led by Mario Moretti. Between 1968 and 1988, 428 murders were attributed to political violence in the form of bombings, assassinations, and street warfare between rival militant factions.
Local police arrested 80 or so suspects from left-wing groups, including Giuseppe Pinelli, an anarchist initially blamed for the bombing, and Pietro Valpreda. Their guilt was denied by left-wing members, especially by members of the student movement, then prominent in Milan's universities, as they believed that the bombing was carried out by fascists. Following the death of Giuseppe Pinelli, who mysteriously died on 15 December while in police custody, the radical left-wing newspaper Lotta Continua started a campaign accusing police officer Luigi Calabresi of Pinelli's murder. In 1975, Calabresi and other police officials were acquitted by judge Gerardo D'Ambrosio who decided that Pinelli's fall from a window had been caused by his being taken ill and losing his balance.
Meanwhile, the anarchist Valpreda and five others were convicted and jailed for the bombing. They were later released after three years of preventive detention. Then, two neo-fascists, Franco Freda (resident in Padua) and Giovanni Ventura, were arrested accused of being the organizers of the massacre; in 1987 they were acquitted by the Supreme Court for lack of evidence.
In the 1990s, new investigations into the Piazza Fontana bombing, citing new witnesses testimony, implicated Freda and Ventura again. However, the pair cannot be put on trial again because of double jeopardy, as they were acquitted of the crime in 1987.
The Red Brigades, the most prominent far-left terrorist organization, conducted a secret internal investigation that paralleled the official inquiry. They ordered that the inquiry remain secret, because of the unfavorable light that it could shed on other terrorist organizations. The inquiry was discovered after a shootout between the Red Brigade and the Carabinieri at Robbiano di Mediglia in October 1974. The cover-up was exposed in 2000 by Giovanni Pellegrino, at the time President of the Commissione Stragi (Parliamentary Committee on massacres).
While the Trento group around Curcio had its main roots in the Sociology Department of the Catholic University, the Reggio Emilia group (around Franceschini) mostly included former members of the FGCI (the Communist youth movement) expelled from the parent party for their extremist views.
Another group of militants came from the Sit-Siemens factories in Milan; these were Mario Moretti, a union official, Corrado Alunni, who would leave the Red Brigades to found another organization «fighter» and Alfredo Buonavita, a blue-collar worker.
The first action of the RB was burning the car of Giuseppe Leoni (a leader of Sit-Siemens company in Milan) on 17 September 1970, in the context of the labour unrest within the factory.
In December, a neo-fascist coup, dubbed the Golpe Borghese, was planned by young far-right fanatics, elderly veterans of Italian Social Republic, and supported by members of the Corpo Forestale dello Stato, along with right-aligned entrepreneurs and industrialists. The "Black Prince", Junio Valerio Borghese, took part in it. The coup, called off at the last moment, was discovered by the newspaper Paese Sera, and publicly exposed three months later.
On March 26, Alessandro Floris was assassinated in Genoa by a unit of the October 22 Group, a far-left terrorist organization. An amateur photographer had taken a photo of the killer that enabled police to identify the terrorists. The group was investigated, and more members arrested. Some fled to Milan and joined the "Gruppi di Azione Partigiana" (GAP) and, later, the Red Brigades.
The Red Brigades considered Gruppo XXII Ottobre its predecessor and, in April 1974, they kidnapped Judge Mario Sossi in a failed attempt at freeing the jailed members. Years later, the Red Brigades killed judge Francesco Coco on June 8, 1976, along with his two police escorts, Giovanni Saponara and Antioco Deiana, in revenge.
On 17 May 1972, police officer Luigi Calabresi, a recipient of the gold medal of the Italian Republic for civil valour, was killed in Milan. Authorities initially focused on suspects in Lotta Continua; then it was assumed that Calabresi had been killed by neo-fascist organizations, bringing about the arrest of two neo-fascist activists, Gianni Nardi and Bruno Stefano, along with German Gudrun Kiess, in 1974. They were ultimately released. Sixteen years later, Adriano Sofri, Giorgio Petrostefani, Ovidio Bompressi, and Leonardo Marino were arrested in Milan following Marino's confession to the murder. Their trial finally established their guilt in organising and carrying out the assassination. Calabresi's assassination opened the chapter of assassinations carried out by armed groups of the far-left.
On 31 May 1972, three Italian Carabinieri were killed in Peteano in a bombing, attributed to Lotta Continua. Officers of the Carabinieri were later indicted and convicted for perverting the course of justice. Judge Casson identified Ordine Nuovo member Vincenzo Vinciguerra as the man who had planted the Peteano bomb.
The neo-fascist terrorist Vinciguerra, arrested in the 1980s for the bombing in Peteano, declared to magistrate Felice Casson that this false flag attack had been intended to force the Italian state to declare a state of emergency and to become more authoritarian. Vinciguerra explained how the SISMI military intelligence agency had protected him, allowing him to escape to Francoist Spain.
Casson's investigation revealed that the right-wing organization Ordine Nuovo had collaborated with the Italian Military Secret Service, SID (Servizio Informazioni Difesa). Together, they had engineered the Peteano attack and then blamed the Red Brigades. He confessed and testified that he had been covered by a network of sympathizers in Italy and abroad who had ensured that he could escape after the attack. «A whole mechanism came into action», Vinciguerra recalled, «that is, the Carabinieri, the Minister of the Interior, the customs services and the military and civilian intelligence services accepted the ideological reasoning behind the attack.»
During a 17 May 1973 ceremony honoring Luigi Calabresi, in which the Interior Minister was present, Gianfranco Bertoli, an anarchist, threw a bomb that killed four and injured 45.
In 1975, Bertoli was sentenced to life imprisonment: the Milan Court wrote that he was embroiled in connections with the far-right, that was a SID informant and a confidant of the Police.
A magistrate investigating the assassination attempt of Mariano Rumor found that Bertoli's files were incomplete. General Gianadelio Maletti, head of the SID from 1971 to 1975, was convicted in absentia in 1990 for obstruction of justice in the Mariano Rumor case.
In May 1974, a bomb exploded during an anti-fascist demonstration in Brescia, killing eight and wounding 102. On 16 November 2010, the Court of Brescia acquitted the defendants: Francesco Delfino (a Carabiniere), Carlo Maria Maggi, Pino Rauti, Maurizio Tramonte and Delfo Zorzi (members of the Ordine Nuovo neo-fascist group). The prosecutor had requested life sentences for Delfino, Maggi, Tramonte and Zorzi, and acquittal for lack of evidence for Pino Rauti. The four defendants were acquitted again by the appeal court in 2012 but, in 2014, the supreme court ruled that the appeal trial would have to be held again at the appeal court of Milan for Maggi and Tramonte. Delfino and Zorzi were definitively acquitted. On July 22, 2015, the appeal court sentenced Maggi and Tramonte to life imprisonment for ordering and co-ordinating the massacre.
On 17 June 1974, two members of MSI were murdered in Padua. Initially, an internal feud between neo-fascist groups was suspected, since the crime had occurred in the city of Franco Freda. However, the murder was then claimed by the Red Brigades: it was the first murder of the organization, which, until then had only committed robberies, bombings and kidnappings.
Count Edgardo Sogno said in his memoirs that in July 1974, he visited the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) station chief in Rome to inform him of preparations for a neo-fascist coup. Asking what the United States (US) government would do in case of such a coup, Sogno wrote that he was told, "the United States would have supported any initiative tending to keep the communists out of government." General Maletti declared, in 2001, that he had not known about Sogno's relationship with the CIA and had not been informed about the coup, known as Golpe bianco (White Coup), led by Randolfo Pacciardi.
On 4 August, 12 died and 105 were injured in the bombing of the Italicus Roma-Brennero express at San Benedetto Val di Sambro.
General Vito Miceli, chief of the SIOS military intelligence agency in 1969, and head of the SID from 1970 to 1974, was arrested in 1974 on charges of «conspiracy against the state». Following his arrest, the Italian secret services were reorganized by a 24 October 1977 law in an attempt to reassert civilian control over the intelligence agencies. The SID was divided into the current SISMI, the SISDE, and the CESIS, which was to directly coordinate with the Prime Minister of Italy. An Italian Parliamentary Committee on Secret services control (Copaco) was created at the same time. Miceli was acquitted in 1978.
In 1974, some leaders of the Red Brigades, including Renato Curcio and Alberto Franceschini, were arrested, but new leadership continued the war against the Italian right-wing establishment with increased fervor.
There were technical conditions for ending terrorism: however, the political class was unwilling: the Italian left wing was less worried by the existence of an armed organization than by the possible abuses by the police against protesters. It did therefore ask for the disarmament of police during street demonstrations. Also in the ruling Christian Democracy), many underestimated the threat of the Red Brigades (speaking of "phantom" Red Brigades), emphasizing instead that of neo-fascist groups.
The year before, Potere Operaio had disbanded, although Autonomia Operaia carried on in its wake. Lotta Continua also dissolved in 1976, although their magazine struggled on for several years. From the remnants of Lotta Continua and similar groups, the terror organization Prima Linea emerged.
On 13 March, young militant of Italian Social Movement (MSI) Sergio Ramelli was assaulted in Milan by a group of Avanguardia Operaia and wounded in the head with wrenches (aka Hazet 36). He died on 29 April, after 47 days in the hospital.
On 25 May, student and left activist Alberto Brasili was stabbed in Milan by neo-fascist militants.
On 14 May, in Milan, activists from a far-left organization pulled out their pistols and began to shoot at the police, killing policeman Antonio Custra. A photographer took a photo of an activist shooting at the police. This year was called the time of the "P38", referring to the Walther P38 pistol.
On 7 January, in Rome young militants of Italian Social Movement (MSI) Franco Bigonzetti and Francesco Ciavatta were killed by far-leftists, another militant (Stefano Recchioni) was killed by the police during a violent demonstration. Some militants left the MSI and founded the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari, which had ties with the Roman criminal organization Banda della Magliana.
On March 16, 1978, Aldo Moro was kidnapped by the Red Brigades (then led by Mario Moretti) and five of his security detail were killed. Aldo Moro was a left-leaning Christian Democrat who served several times as prime minister; before his murder, he had been trying to include the Italian Communist Party (PCI), headed by Enrico Berlinguer, in the government through a deal called the Historic Compromise. PCI was, at the time, the largest communist party in western Europe; was mainly because of its non-extremist and pragmatic stance, its growing independence from Moscow and its eurocommunist doctrine. The PCI was especially strong in areas such as Emilia Romagna, where it had stable government positions and mature practical experience, which may have contributed to a more pragmatic approach to politics. The Red Brigades were fiercely opposed by the Communist Party and trade unions: a few left-wing politicians even used the condescending expression "comrades who do wrong" (Compagni che sbagliano). Franco Bonisoli, one of RB's members who participated at the kidnapping, declared that the decision to kidnap Moro "was taken a week before, a day was decided, it could have been March 15 or 17".
On May 9, 1978, after a summary "trial of the people", Moro was murdered by Mario Moretti with, it was also determined, the participation of Germano Maccari. The corpse was found that same day in the trunk of a red Renault 4 in via Michelangelo Caetani, in downtown Rome. A consequence there was the fact that the PCI did not gain executive power.
Moro's assassination was followed by a large clampdown on the social movement, including the arrest of many members of Autonomia Operaia, including, Oreste Scalzone and political philosopher Antonio Negri (arrested on 7 April 1979).
Active armed organization grew from 2 in 1969 to 91 in 1977 and 269 in 1979. In that year there were 659 attacks.
On 29 January, Judge Emilio Alesandrini was killed in Milan by Prima Linea.
On 9 March, university student Emanuele Iurilli was killed in Turin by Prima Linea.
On 20 March, investigative journalist Mino Pecorelli was gunned down in his car in Rome. Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti and Mafia boss Gaetano Badalamenti were sentenced in 2002 to 24 years in prison for the murder, though the sentences were overturned the following year.
On 18 July, barman Carmine Civitate was killed in Turin, by Prima Linea.
On 21 September, Carlo Ghiglieno was killed in Turin by a group of Prima Linea.
On 11 December, five teachers and five students of the "Valletta" Institute in Turin were shot in the legs by Prima Linea.
On 29 January, manager of Porto Marghera's petrochemical Silvio Gori was killed by the Red Brigades.
On 7 February, Prima Linea's militant William Vaccher was killed on suspicion of treason.
On 12 February, in Rome, at the "La Sapienza" University, Vittorio Bachelet, vice-president of the Superior Council of Magistrates and former president of the Roman Catholic association Azione Cattolica, was killed by the Red Brigades.
On 2 August, a bomb killed 85 people and wounded more than 200 in Bologna. Known as the Bologna massacre, the blast destroyed a large portion of the city's railway station. This was found to be a neo-fascist bombing, mainly organized by the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari: Francesca Mambro and Valerio Fioravanti were sentenced to life imprisonment. In April 2007 the Supreme Court confirmed the conviction of Luigi Ciavardini, a NAR member associated closely with close ties to Terza Posizione. Ciavardini received a 30-year prison sentence for his role in the attack.
On 5 July, Giuseppe Taliercio, director of the Porto Marghera's Montedison petrochemical establishment, was killed by the Red Brigades after 47 days of kidnapping.
On 3 August, Roberto Peci, worker electrician, was killed by the Red Brigades after 54 days of kidnapping. It's a vendetta against his brother Patrizio, member of RB became pentito the year before.
On 17 December, James L. Dozier, an American general and the deputy commander of NATO's South European forces based in Verona, was kidnapped by Red Brigades. He was freed in Padua on 28 January 1982 by the Nucleo Operativo Centrale di Sicurezza (NOCS), an Italian police anti-terrorist task force.
On 26 August, a group of Red Brigades terrorists attacked a military troop convoy, in Salerno. In the attack, Corporal Antonio Palumbo and policemen Antonio Bandiera and Mario De Marco were killed. The terrorists escaped.
On 23 December, a bomb in a train between Florence and Rome killed 17 and wounded more than 200. In 1992, Mafia's members Giuseppe Calò and Guido Cercola were sentenced to life imprisonment, Franco Di Agostino (another member of the Sicilian Mafia) got 24 years, and German engineer Friedrich Schaudinn 22 for the bombing. Camorra's member Giuseppe Misso was sentenced to 3 years; other members of Camorra, Alfonso Galeota and Giulio Pirozzi were sentenced to 18 months, and their role in the massacre was deemed marginal. On February 18, 1994, the Florence court absolved MSI member of Parliament Massimo Abbatangelo from the massacre charge, but ruled him guilty of giving the explosive to Misso in the spring of 1984. Abbatangelo was sentenced to 6 years. Victims' relatives asked for a tougher sentence, but lost the appeal and had to pay for judiciary expenses.
On 10 February 1986, Lando Conti, former Mayor of Florence, was killed by the Red Brigades.
On 16 April 1988, Senator Roberto Ruffilli was assassinated in an attack by a group of the Red Brigades in Forlì. It was the last murder committed by the Red Brigades: on 23 October a group of irreducibles declared, in a document, that war against the State was over.
In the late 1990s - early 2000s (decade), a resurgence of Red Brigades terrorism led to further assassinations.
On 20 May 1999, Massimo D'Antona, consultant to the Ministry of Labour, was assassinated in an attack by a group of terrorists of the Red Brigades in Rome.
On 19 March 2002, Marco Biagi, consultant to the Ministry of Labour, was assassinated in an attack by a group of terrorists of the Red Brigades in Bologna.
On 2 March 2003, Emanuele Petri, a policeman, was assassinated by a group of Red Brigades terrorists near Castiglion Fiorentino.
In 2005, some suspected terrorists, known as the New Red Brigades (Nuove Brigate Rosse) were arrested. On June 13, the court of Milan condemned 14 terrorists. The leader was sentenced to 15 years in jail. Three suspected terrorists were found not guilty.
The Mitterrand doctrine, which was established in 1985 by then French president François Mitterrand, stated that Italian far-left terrorists who fled to France and who were convicted of violent acts in Italy, excluding "active, actual, bloody terrorism" during the "Years of Lead", would receive asylum and would not be subject to extradition to Italy. They would be integrated into French society.
The act was announced on 21 April 1985, at the 65th Congress of the Human Rights League (Ligue des droits de l'homme, LDH), stating that Italian criminals who had given up their violent pasts and had fled to France would be protected from extradition to Italy:
Italian refugees ... who took part in terrorist action before 1981 ... have broken links with the infernal machine in which they participated, have begun a second phase of their lives, have integrated into French society ... I told the Italian government that they were safe from any sanction by the means of extradition.
Some Italian citizens accused of terrorist acts have found refuge in Brazil such as Cesare Battisti and others former members of the Armed Proletarians for Communism, a far-left militant and terrorist organization.
The Acca Larentia killings were a series of fatal incidents that occurred in Rome on January 7, 1978. Three members of the Youth Front of the Italian Social Movement (MSI), an Italian far right party, were killed. Two were killed while they were leaving local party headquarters to distribute pamphlets. A third was executed hours later by a shot to the head.Armed Revolutionary Nuclei
The Armed Revolutionary Nuclei (Italian: Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari), abbreviated NAR, was an Italian neofascist militant organization active during the Years of Lead from 1977 to November 1981. It committed 33 murders in four years, and had planned to assassinate Francesco Cossiga, Gianfranco Fini and Adolfo Urso. The group maintained close links with the Banda della Magliana, a Rome-based criminal organization, which provided such logistical support as lodging, false papers, weapons, and bombs to the NAR. In November 1981, it was discovered that the NAR hid weapons in the basements of the Health Ministry. The first trial against them sentenced 53 persons on 2 May 1985 on charges of terrorist activities.Autonomia Operaia
Autonomia Operaia was an Italian leftist movement particularly active from 1976 to 1978. It took an important role in the autonomist movement in the 1970s, aside earlier organisations such as Potere Operaio, created after May 1968, and Lotta Continua.Banda della Magliana
The Banda della Magliana (Italian pronunciation: [ˈbanda della maʎˈʎaːna], Magliana Gang) is an Italian criminal organization based in Rome founded in 1975. Given by the media, the name refers to the original neighborhood, the Magliana, of some of its members.
The Banda della Magliana was involved in criminal activities during the Italian years of lead (anni di piombo). The Italian justice tied it to other criminal organizations such as the Cosa Nostra, Camorra or 'Ndrangheta, but most importantly also to neofascist activists such as the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari (NAR), responsible for the 1980 Bologna massacre, the secret services (SISMI) and political figures such as Licio Gelli, grand-master of the freemasonic lodge Propaganda Due (P2). Along with Gladio, the NATO clandestine anti-communist organization, P2 was involved in a strategy of tension during the years of lead which included false flag terrorist attacks. These ties, underground compared to their standard (i.e. "run-of-the-mill") activities (drug dealing, horserace betting, money laundering, etc.), have led the Banda to be related to the political events of the conflict which divided Italy into two during the Cold War, and in particular to events such as the 1979 assassination of journalist Carmine Pecorelli; the 1978 murder of former Prime minister Aldo Moro, also leader of the Christian Democracy who was negotiating the historic compromise with the Italian Communist Party (PCI); the 1982 assassination attempt against Roberto Rosone, vice-president of Banco Ambrosiano; "banker of God" Roberto Calvi's 1982 murder; and also the 1980 Bologna massacre. Finally, the mysterious disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, a case peripherally linked to former Grey Wolves member Mehmet Ali Ağca's 1981 Pope John Paul II assassination attempt, has also been related to the gang. Though the Emanuela Orlandi case may not be connected to the "Grey Wolves", but may have been one of the "run-of-the-mill" Banda della Magliana criminal activities, the Orlandi kidnapping was allegedly designed to persuade the legally immune Vatican Bank to restore inequitably retained funds to Banco Ambrosiano creditors.Battle of Valle Giulia
The Battle of Valle Giulia (battaglia di Valle Giulia) is the conventional name for a clash between Italian militants (left-wing as well as right-wing) and the Italian police in Valle Giulia, Rome, on 1 March 1968. It is still frequently remembered as one of the first violent clashes in Italy's student unrest during the protests of 1968 or "Sessantotto".Bologna massacre
The Bologna massacre (Italian: strage di Bologna) was a terrorist bombing of the Bologna Centrale railway station in Bologna, Italy, on the morning of 2 August 1980 which killed 85 people and wounded over 200. Several members of the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari (Armed Revolutionary Nuclei) were sentenced for the bombing, although the group denied involvement.Golpe Borghese
The Golpe Borghese was a failed Italian coup d'état allegedly planned for the night of 7 or 8 December 1970. It was named after Junio Valerio Borghese, an Italian World War II commander of the Xª MAS unit, the "Black Prince", convicted of fighting with Nazi Germany but not of war crimes, but still a hero in the eyes of many post-War Italian fascists. The coup attempt became publicly known when the left-wing journal Paese Sera ran the headline on the evening of March 18, 1971: Subversive plan against the Republic: far-right plot discovered.
The secret operation was code-named 'Operation Tora Tora' after the Japanese attack on the US ships in Pearl Harbor which had led the United States to enter the Second World War on December 7, 1941. The plan of the coup in its final phase envisaged the involvement of US and NATO warships which were on alert in the Mediterranean. However, only a few marginalized sectors of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were in favour of the coup, while the main response was not to allow major changes in the geo-political balance in the Mediterranean.Itavia Flight 870
On 27 June 1980, Itavia Flight 870 (IH 870, AJ 421), a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 passenger jet en route from Bologna to Palermo, Italy, crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea between the islands of Ponza and Ustica, killing all 81 people on board. Known in Italy as the Ustica massacre ("strage di Ustica"), the disaster led to numerous investigations, legal actions and accusations, and continues to be a source of controversy, including claims of conspiracy by the Italian government and others. Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga attributed the crash to a missile fired from a French Navy aircraft, despite contrary evidence presented in a 1994 report. On 23 January 2013, Italy's top criminal court ruled that there was "abundantly" clear evidence that the flight was brought down by a missile.Lotta Continua
Continuous Struggle (Italian: Lotta Continua, LC) was a far left extra-parliamentary organization in Italy. It was founded in autumn 1969 by a split in the student-worker movement of Turin, which had started militant activity at the universities and factories such as Fiat. The first issue of Lotta Continua's eponymous newspaper was published in November 1969, and publication continued until 1982 after the organization disbanded in 1976.National Vanguard (Italy)
The National Vanguard (Italian: Avanguardia Nazionale) is a name that has been used for at least two neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups in Italy.Ordine Nuovo
Ordine Nuovo (Italian for "New Order"), (full name Centro Studi Ordine Nuovo, "New Order Scholarship Center") was an Italian far right cultural and extra-parliamentary political and paramilitary organization founded by Pino Rauti in 1956. It had been the most important extra-parliamentary far-right organization of the post-war Italian republic.
The name is shared by Movimento Politico Ordine Nuovo, a splinter group of Centro Studi Ordine Nuovo.
The organization, considered as an attempt at reforming the Fascist Party (banned by the Constitution), was forcibly dissolved by the Italian government in 1973. Remaining elements of the group formed the Ordine Nero (Black Order) in 1974.
Members and a leader of Movimento Politico Ordine Nuovo participated in several terrorist attacks. These include the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing, the 1970 Rome-Messina train attack, a grenade attack at a 1974 anti-fascist rally, and the 1974 Italicus Express bombing.Piazza Fontana bombing
The Piazza Fontana Bombing (Italian: Strage di Piazza Fontana) was a terrorist attack that occurred on 12 December 1969 when a bomb exploded at the headquarters of Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura (National Agrarian Bank) in Piazza Fontana (some 200 metres from the Duomo) in Milan, Italy, killing 17 people and wounding 88. The same afternoon, three more bombs were detonated in Rome and Milan, and another was found unexploded.Potere Operaio
Potere Operaio ("Workers' Power") was a radical left-wing Italian political group, active between 1967 and 1973. (It shouldn't be confused with "Potere Operaio Pisano" which was one of the components of a competing revolutionary group, Lotta Continua.) Among the group's leaders were Antonio ('Toni') Negri, Nanni Balestrini, Franco Piperno, Oreste Scalzone and Valerio Morucci, who led its clandestine armed wing. It was part of the "workerist" movement (operaismo), leading to the later development of the Autonomist movement.
Potere Operaio's main sphere of operations was in factories, especially big factories in the industrial North, and publishing newspapers and leaflets. It sought to base its Marxist theory on the everyday life of supposedly revolutionary factory workers.
Potere Operaio officially ceased to exist on 3 June 1973. Most of its core members went on to be involved in Autonomia Operaia, signalling the shift from operaismo to autonomism. Some of the leaders later drifted towards more radical groups such as the Red Brigades, including Morucci and Adriana Faranda, who took part in the Moro murder. Negri was arrested in the late 1970s, accused of being the leader of the Red Brigades, before being cleared of charges. Oreste Scalzone also was arrested, in connection with violent acts.Prima Linea
Prima Linea (Italian, English: "Front Line") was an Italian Marxist–Leninist terrorist group of the late 1970s. It was formed in 1976 by members of hard-line factions within the far left, extra-parliamentary organization Lotta Continua, which disbanded that year, together with members of Potere Operaio and of other far left groups. By 1982 it had carried out more than twenty assassinations.Propaganda Due
Propaganda Due (Italian pronunciation: [propaˈɡanda ˈduːe]; P2) was a Masonic lodge under the Grand Orient of Italy, founded in 1877. However its Masonic charter was withdrawn in 1976, and it transformed into a clandestine, pseudo-Masonic, ultraright organization operating in contravention of Article 18 of the Constitution of Italy that banned secret associations. In its latter period, during which the lodge was headed by Licio Gelli, P2 was implicated in numerous Italian crimes and mysteries, including the collapse of the Vatican-affiliated Banco Ambrosiano, the murders of journalist Mino Pecorelli and banker Roberto Calvi, and corruption cases within the nationwide bribe scandal Tangentopoli. P2 came to light through the investigations into the collapse of Michele Sindona's financial empire.P2 was sometimes referred to as a "state within a state" or a "shadow government". The lodge had among its members prominent journalists, members of parliament, industrialists, and military leaders—including Silvio Berlusconi, who later became Prime Minister of Italy; the Savoy pretender to the Italian throne Victor Emmanuel; and the heads of all three Italian intelligence services (at the time SISDE, SISMI and CESIS).
When searching Licio Gelli's villa in 1982, the police found a document called the "Plan for Democratic Rebirth", which called for a consolidation of the media, suppression of trade unions, and the rewriting of the Italian Constitution.Outside Italy, P2 was also active in Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina. Among its Argentine members were Raúl Alberto Lastiri, interim president in 1973 during the height of the "Dirty War"; Emilio Massera, who was part of the military junta led by Jorge Rafael Videla from 1976 to 1978; José López Rega, minister 1973–1975 and founder of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance; and General Guillermo Suárez Mason.Romanzo Criminale
Romanzo criminale (Italian pronunciation: [roˈmantso krimiˈnale], "Criminal Novel") is an Italian-language film released in 2005, directed by Michele Placido, a criminal drama, it was highly acclaimed and won 15 awards. It is based on Giancarlo De Cataldo's 2002 novel, which is in turn inspired by the Banda della Magliana true story. The Magliana gang was one of the most powerful Italian criminal associations, dominating Rome's drug, gambling and other kinds of crime activities from the early 1970s to 1992 (death of Enrico De Pedis). The gang's affiliates start their career kidnapping rich people, drug dealing (hashish, cocaine, heroin, etc.) from the 1970s they started working with the Italian secret service, fascists, terrorists, the Sicilian Mafia, Camorra and many more.
Some gang members are still alive, as inmates of an Italian prison, or justice collaborators.
The film is something of a showcase for a number of Italy's leading young film and television actors, notably Favino, who won a Donatello award for his performance as Lebanese.
In 2008 a spin-off TV series commenced broadcasting (Romanzo criminale – La serie).Strategy of tension
A strategy of tension (Italian: strategia della tensione) is a policy wherein violent struggle is encouraged rather than suppressed. It is usually associated when governments, or security apparatuses within a government, allow or even encourage extremist groups to perform attacks, bombings, murders, and the like. In extreme circumstances, it can even involve agent provocateurs and false flag operations where a terrorist threat is outright invented or created. The goal in such strategies is that such a struggle will rally support behind the military or police forces opposing the radicals, to radicalize opposing movements so that they can be better marginalized, or to permit loosely allied extremist groups to attack enemies of the government. As few organizations would openly say that they are pursuing a strategy of tension, accusations generally come from opponents that such a strategy is being pursued.
The strategy of tension is most closely identified with the Years of Lead in Italy from 1968–1982, wherein both far-left Marxist extremists and far-right neo-fascist groups performed bombings, kidnappings, arsons, and murders. Activists have accused NATO of allowing and sanctioning such terrorism, although this conclusion is hotly disputed. Other cases where writers have alleged a strategy of tension include the Turkish military against Islamists from the 1970s–1990s ("Ergenekon"), the war veterans and ZANU–PF in Zimbabwe which coordinated the farm invasions of 2000, the DRS security agency in Algeria from 1991-1999, and Belgium's state security service from 1982–1986.U.S. Army Field Manual 30-31B
U.S. Army Field Manual 30-31B is a forged document claiming to be a classified appendix to a U.S. Army Field Manual that describes top secret counter insurgency tactics. In particular, it identifies a "strategy of tension" involving violent attacks which are then blamed on radical left-wing groups in order to convince allied governments of the need for counter-action. It has been called the Westmoreland Field Manual because it is signed with the alleged signature of General William Westmoreland. It was labelled as supplement B (hence "30-31B"), although the publicly released version of FM30-31 only has one appendix, Supplement A.Intelligence scholar Peer Henrik Hansen and the U.S. government describe the document as a forgery by Soviet intelligence services.. The document first appeared in Turkey in the 1970s, before being circulated to other countries. It was also used at the end of the 1970s to implicate the Central Intelligence Agency in the Red Brigades' kidnapping and assassination of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro.