||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Italian Wikipedia. (December 2008)|
|Date||November 23, 1973|
|Summary||Detonation of improvised explosive device|
|Aircraft type||Douglas C-47 Dakota|
|Operator||Italian Air Force|
Argo 16 was the codename of an Italian Air Force C-47 Dakota aircraft, registration MM61832, used by the Italian Secret Service SID and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in covert operations.
On 23 November 1973, at 7.30 Argo 16 takes off from the airport of Venice, arrived at the altitude of 2,500 feet, then fall and crashed on the Montefibre plant of Marghera, the industrial hub at a short distance from the airport. The disaster causes four deaths, including the Commander Borreo, a pilot of great experience, highly decorated during the Second World War. The code name of the plane Argo 16, is named after the giant mythological all-seing Argus Panoptes. The aeroplane carried out special missions for the Secret Service within the armed forces and made electronic measurements in the Adriatic Sea against the Yugoslavian radar network. According To Luigi, Borreo`s father, the Commander of the crew of the Argo 16, Anano Borreo, already feared for his life: he was well aware that his work led him constantly at the centre of delicate and dangerous situations. General Gianadelio Maletti (SID) said that most probably it was a sabotage carried out by the Israeli Secret Service. The RAI dossier "Argo 16 - Un mistero mai chiarito" concludes yet the truth would remain a mystery.
Conclusive Gladio links to the strategy of tension and right-wing terrorism came to light in November 1973 when Venetian examining magistrate Carlo Mastelloni determined that the Argo-16 aircraft which exploded in flight near Venice was being used to shuttle trainees and munitions between the US base in Sardinia and Gladio sites in north-east Italy.
There have of course been hints, suggestions, innuendoes, that members of Gladio were responsible for incidents in Italy's murky past. General Gerardo Serravalle, head of Gladio from 1971 to 1974, told a television programme that he now thought the explosion aboard the plane Argo 16 on 23 November 1973 was probably the work of gladiatori who were refusing to hand over their clandestine arms. Until then it was widely believed the sabotage was carried out by Mossad, the Israeli foreign secret service, in retaliation for the pro-Libyan Italian government's decision to expel, rather than try, five Arabs who had tried to blow up an Israeli air-liner. The Arabs had been spirited out of the country on board the Argo 16.
- Operation Gladio, a NATO clandestine structure during the Cold War, engaged in Italy 's strategy of tension during the 1970s and 1980s.
- Argo 16 - Un mistero mai chiarito RAI, Retrieved Feb. 21 2015
- Carr, Gordon (2010). The Angry Brigade a history of Britain's first urban guerilla group. Oakland, CA: PM Press. p. 209. ISBN 1-60486-049-9.
- "Clarion: Gladio terrorism parliamentary inquiry, Indep 1 Dec 1990". Cambridge Clarion Group. Dec 1, 1990. Retrieved Feb 21, 2015.