Falange Armata

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The Falange Armata (in Italian Armed Phalanx) was an Italian terrorist organisation created in the early 1990s.


The first anonymous claim under the Falange Armata name came on 27 October 1990, at the ANSA switchboard of Bologne: it concerned the murder of Umberto Mormile, an educator of the Opera penitentiary.[1] The homicide occurred on 11 April 1990. The organisation's motto was: "Il terrorismo non è morto, vi faremo sapere poi chi siamo" ("Terrorism isn't dead, we'll let you know who we are").[1][2] This phrase was repeated in a phone call to ANSA during the Pilastro massacre, later revealed to be untrustworthy. According to the pentito Maurizio Avola: "Regarding the targets to strike, they were terrorist actions even traditionally extraneous to the Cosa Nostra operating modes and goals. These actions, according to an already established procedure, had to be claimed under the Falange Armata sign".[2]

The theory that the organization was smoke and mirrors began to evolve.[2] They were said to have misled investigators, taken responsibility for unbelievable crimes, and claimed to be responsible for the activity of a mythomaniac.[2]

Examples of their claims include the Pilastro massacre, the murder of Salvo Lima, the homicide of Giuliano Guazzelli and the Capaci bombing.[2] Journalist Gianluca Di Feo wrote on Corriere della Sera: "The Falange had surely a particular role in this storm: it monopolised the mass media attention, leading to demand more security and distracting from what was happening in South Italy- an operation that might have been useful to many".[1]

In February 2014 the Falange Armata sign resurfaced in a letter sent to Totò Riina, at Opera penitentiary, in which the organisation "invited" the mafia boss to become silent: "Close that goddamned mouth. Remember that your relatives are free".[3] Except for this communication to Riina, the Falange Armata sign has remained inactive since 1994.[3]

State-Mafia pact[edit]

On 25 June 2015 ambassador Francesco Paolo Fulci, former president of CESIS, revealed that the Falange Armata phone calls to ANSA came from the offices of the SISMI (during the trial about the State-Mafia Pact):

There was this case of the Falange Armata and so I appointed this SISDE analyst, his name was Davide De Luca, [...] I asked him to work on the claims. [...] After some days De Luca came to me and told me: this is the map of the places where the phone calls come from, and this is the map of the SISMI peripherical offices in Italy, the two maps coincided perfectly, and in addition De Luca told me that the calls occurred always during the working time".

— Giuseppe Pipitone, Il Fatto Quotidiano[4]