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daniele ganser – nato’s secret armies – operation gladio and terrorism in western europe
INTRODUCTION As the Cold War ended, following juridical investigations into mysteriousacts of terrorism in Italy, Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti was forcedto confirm in August 1990 that a secret army existed in Italy and other countriesacross Western Europe that were part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO). Coordinated by the unorthodox warfare section of NATO, the secretarmy had been set up by the US secret service Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)and the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6 or SIS) after the end of theSecond World War to fight Communism in Western Europe. The clandestine network, which after the revelations of the Italian Prime Minister was researched by judges, parliamentarians, academics and investigative journalists across Europe, is now understood to have been code-named ‘Gladio’ (the sword) in Italy,while in other countries the network operated under different names including’Absalon’ in Denmark, ‘ROC’ in Norway and ‘SDRA8’ in Belgium. In each country the military secret service operated the anti-Communist army within the state in closecollaboration with the CIA or the MI6 unknown to parliaments and populations.In each country, leading members of the executive, including Prime Ministers,Presidents, Interior Ministers and Defence Ministers, were involved in the daniele ganser – nato’s secret armies – operation gladio and terrorism in western europe conspiracy, while the ‘Allied Clandestine Committee’ (ACC), sometimes also euphemistically called the ‘Allied Co-ordination Committee’ and the ‘Clandestine Planning Committee’ (CPC), less conspicuously at times also called ‘Coordination and Planning Committee’ of NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe(SHAPE), coordinated the networks on the international level. The last confirmed secret meeting of ACC with representatives of European secret services took place on October 24, 1990 in Brussels.As the details of the operation emerged, the press concluded that the ‘story seems straight from the pages of a political thriller’.
The secret armies were equipped by the CIA and the MI6 with machine guns, explosives, munitions andhigh-tech communication equipment hidden in arms caches in forests, meadow sand underground bunkers across Western Europe. Leading officers of the secretnetwork trained together with the US Green Berets Special Forces in the United States of America and the British SAS Special Forces in England. Recruitedamong strictly anti-Communist segments of the society the secret Gladio soldiers1