Informal Anarchist Federation
|Criminal activities||Bombings, Arson attacks, Shootings|
|Rivals||Government of Italy|
Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI) (in Italian: Federazione Anarchica Informale) is an insurrectionary anarchist organization. It has been described by Italian intelligence sources as a "horizontal" structure of various anarchist groups, united in their beliefs in revolutionary armed action. Groups comprising the FAI act both as separate organizations and also under the FAI, and are known to format group campaigns. The group has its roots in Italy, but, since 2012, has begun organising and executing attacks in the United Kingdom.
Their ideology is opposed to both the current European order and Marxism, which they see as solely a replacement of one form of oppressive authority with another.
The organization is composed by the following groups:
- July 20 Brigade
- Five C's
- International Solidarity
- Cooperative of Hand-Made Fire & Related Items
- May 22 Group
- Cell against the capital
- Circle of Asymmetric Urban Warfare
- Santiago Maldonado cell
These groups represent factions of the FAI. Beyond the organization, each group has also forged its own set of alliances. The New Red Brigades/Communist Combatant Party is an allied of the FAI. Collaboration between these anarchist groups and more established Marxist groups, essentially in opposition to the principles of the FAI, have been a subject of debate in both anarchist circles and within the Italian security community. These claims have been supported with claims of solidarity between the FAI and the newest incarnations of the Red Brigades.
In 2003, the group claimed responsibility for a bomb campaign targeting several European Union institutions. It had stated to target "the apparatus of control that is repressive and leading the democratic show that is the new European order". To address the situation, an order was issued to halt all packets addressed to EU bodies from post offices in the Emilia-Romagna region. Sources at the prosecutor's office in Bologna said that the packages mailed to Trichet, Europol and Eurojust contained books and photocopies of a leaflet from the Informal Anarchist Federation. The leaflet described the Italian group and talked about its "Operation Santa Claus." After the December attack on the Italian politician Romano Prodi, the FAI sent a letter to La Repubblica newspaper saying it was opposed to the European Union and claiming the attack was carried out "so the pig knows that the maneuvers have only begun to get close to him and others like him."
In 2010, Italy’s postal service intercepted a threatening letter containing a bullet addressed to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. A large envelope containing a letter addressed to Berlusconi with the threat “you will end up like a rat” was discovered on Friday in a post office in the Libate suburb of the northern city of Milan. On 9 April 2013 an explosive device was sent by the group to the offices of La Stampa. It did not detonate. On 23 December 2010, credit for exploding parcels delivered to the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome was claimed by the Informal Anarchist Federation, though many news sources erroneously reported that another group, the Italian Anarchist Federation, claimed responsibility for the mail bombs.
On 31 March 2011, a mail bomb exploded at the Olten headquarters of Swissnuclear, the Swiss nuclear industry association, wounding two people. According to prosecutors, a letter delivered with the bomb claimed responsibility on behalf of the IAF.
In May 2012, a group believed to be loosely related to the FAI claimed responsibility for the shooting of Roberto Adinolfi, an Italian executive at a nuclear company. The shooting (and continued threats against the Italian state tax collection agency) prompted the Italian Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri to assign 18,000 police officers to security detail. On 13 June 2012, the Italian ROS conducted raids on forty people, arresting eight in Italy and sending two arrest warrants for individuals already incarcerated in Germany and Switzerland, Gabriel Pombo Da Silva and Marco Camenisch, as well as conducting multiple interrogations, some of which were in connection to Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei.
Although the Informal Anarchist Federation in Italy has existed for some time, in recent years several groups around the world have used the moniker to claim responsibility for their own attacks on government and corporate targets, including arson in Russia, Argentina  and the United Kingdom. In May 2012, the FAI in the UK announced their intention to "paralyze the national economy" during the 2012 Olympics in London. This warning followed an attack by the British FAI May 22 Group on trainlines outside Bristol that succeeded in disrupting the rail system, and an arson attack against the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Geoff Gollop. On 3 January 2013 an FAI group set fire to a transmitter in Bath, resulting in television and radio outages to 80,000 homes. On 25 November 2014 a group calling itself the Informal Anarchist Federation claimed responsibility for setting fires that destroyed 5 luxury cars in the Bristol suburb of Long Ashton.
During a security briefing regarding the FAI, an Italian intelligence official cited Greece, Spain, Mexico and Chile as other countries in which the FAI was spreading networks into. The similarities in ideology between the Italian FAI and a Mexican group involved in a parcel bombing that seriously injured two nanotechnology researchers has been noted elsewhere. In September 2012, an FAI group in Mexico claimed responsibility for the shooting deaths of three municipal police officers in Mexico City.
In addition, the Informal Anarchist Federation has ideological ties with Greek anarchist groups. FAI cells have named themselves after Olga Economidou, a currently imprisoned member of Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, and Lambros Foundas, a member of Revolutionary Struggle who died in a shoot-out with Greek police in 2010. A document from imprisoned Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei members cites the Italian FAI as an inspiration for their own activity. Consequently, the FAI has praised Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, stating "Conspiracy’s project, like ours, is based on the action and methods of revolutionary violence."
- Individualist anarchism in Europe
- Anarchism in Italy
- Red Brigades
- Alfredo M. Bonanno
- Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei
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