Operation Gladio

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Emblem of "Gladio", Italian branch of the NATO "stay-behind" paramilitary organizations. The motto, "Silendo Libertatem Servo", means "In being silent, I save freedom".

Operation Gladio (Italian: Operazione Gladio) is the codename for a clandestine North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) "stay-behind" operation in Europe during the Cold War. Its purpose was to continue armed resistance in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion and conquest. Although Gladio specifically refers to the Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind organizations, "Operation Gladio" is used as an informal name for all of them. The name Gladio is the Italian form of gladius, a type of Roman shortsword. Stay-behind operations occurred in many NATO and even some neutral countries.[1]

Gladio was part of a series of national operations first coordinated by the Clandestine Committee of the Western Union (CCWU), founded in 1948. After the creation of NATO in 1949, the CCWU was integrated into the Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC), founded in 1951 and overseen by Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), transferred to Belgium after France's official withdrawal from NATO's Military Committee in 1966 – which was not followed by the dissolution of the French stay-behind paramilitary movements.

The role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Gladio and the extent of its activities during the Cold War era, and any relationship to terrorist attacks perpetrated in Italy during the "Years of Lead" (late 1960s to early 1980s) is the subject of debate. Switzerland and Belgium have had parliamentary inquiries into the matter.[2]

General stay-behind structure[edit]

After World War II, the UK and the US decided to create "stay-behind" paramilitary organizations, with the official aim of countering a possible Soviet invasion through sabotage and guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines. Arms caches were hidden, escape routes prepared, and loyal members recruited, whether in Italy or in other European countries. Its clandestine "cells" were to stay behind (hence the name) in enemy-controlled territory and to act as resistance movements, conducting sabotage, guerrilla warfare and assassinations.

Operating in all of NATO and even in some neutral countries such as Spain before its 1982 admission to NATO, Gladio was first coordinated by the Clandestine Committee of the Western Union (CCWU), founded in 1948. After the creation of NATO in 1949, the CCWU was integrated into the "Clandestine Planning Committee" (CPC), founded in 1951 and overseen by the SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe), transferred to Belgium after France's official retreat from NATO – which was not followed by the dissolution of the French stay-behind paramilitary movements.

Historian Daniele Ganser alleges that:[3]

Next to the CPC, a second secret army command center, labeled Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC), was set up in 1957 on the orders of NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR). This military structure provided for significant US leverage over the secret stay-behind networks in Western Europe as the SACEUR, throughout NATO's history, has traditionally been a US General who reports to the Pentagon in Washington and is based in NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium. The ACC's duties included elaborating on the directives of the network, developing its clandestine capability, and organizing bases in Britain and the United States. In wartime, it was to plan stay-behind operations in conjunction with SHAPE. According to former CIA director William Colby, it was 'a major program'.

Coordinated by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), {the secret armies} were run by the European military secret services in close cooperation with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the British foreign secret service Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, also MI6). Trained together with US Green Berets and British Special Air Service (SAS), these clandestine NATO soldiers, armed with underground arms-caches, prepared against a potential Soviet invasion and occupation of Western Europe, as well as the coming to power of communist parties. The clandestine international network covered the European NATO membership, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey, as well as the neutral European countries of Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Central Intelligence Agency responded to the series of accusations made by Mr. Ganser in his book regarding the CIA's involvement in Operation Gladio, by claiming that neither Ganser nor anyone else could have solid evidence supporting their accusations. At one point in his book, Mr. Ganser even talks about the CIA's covert action policies as being "terrorist in nature" and then accuses the CIA of using their "networks for political terrorism". The CIA has responded by noting that Daniele Ganser's sourcing is "largely secondary" and that Ganser himself has complained about "not being able to find any official sources to support his charges of the CIA's or any Western European government's involvement with Gladio".[4]

The existence of these clandestine NATO units remained a closely guarded secret throughout the Cold War until 1990, when the first branch of the international network was discovered in Italy. While the press said that the NATO stay-behind units were 'the best-kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II', the Italian government, amidst sharp public criticism, promised to close down the secret army. Italy insisted identical clandestine units had also existed in all other countries of Western Europe. This allegation proved correct and subsequent research found that in Belgium, the secret NATO unit was code-named SDRA8, in Denmark Absalon, in Germany TD BJD, in Greece LOK, in Luxemburg Stay-Behind, in the Netherlands I&O, in Norway ROC, in Portugal Aginter, in Switzerland P26, in Turkey Özel Harp Dairesi, In Sweden AGAG (Aktions Gruppen Arla Gryning), Plan Bleu in France, and in Austria OWSGV. However, the code names of the stay-behind unit in Finland and Spain remain unknown.[3]

Upon learning of the discovery, the parliament of the European Union (EU) drafted a resolution sharply criticizing the fact (...) Yet only Italy, Belgium and Switzerland carried out parliamentary investigations, while the administration of President George H. W. Bush refused to comment.[5] In 1990 British Defence Secretary, Tom King, said that he had never heard of Gladio. He states: "I'm not sure what particular hot potato you're chasing after. It sounds wonderfully exciting, but I'm afraid I'm quite ignorant about it. I'm better informed about the Gulf."[6] An unnamed U.S. government official familiar with Gladio said, "If there are allegations that the CIA was involved in terrorist activities in Italy, they are absolute nonsense." and the continued existence of the force in Italy was "solely an Italian operation. We have no control over it whatsoever."[7]

U.S. Forces trained Gladio Operatives at a secrect NATO base in 1968. According to a former NATO operative, Gladio received major U.S. funding with the approval of General Alexander Haig, future NATO commander, and Henry Kissinger, then head of the U.S. National Security Council.[8]

If Gladio was effectively "the best-kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II",[9] it must be underlined, however, that on several occasions, arms caches were discovered and stay-behind paramilitary organizations officially dissolved – only to be created again. But it was not until the 1990s that the full international scope of the program was disclosed to public knowledge. Giulio Andreotti, the main character of Italy's post-World War II political life, was described by Aldo Moro to his captors as "too close to NATO", Moro thus advising them to be wary. Indeed, before Andreotti's 1990 acknowledgement of Gladio's existence, he had "unequivocally" denied it in 1974, and then in 1978 to judges investigating the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing.[10]

Gladio operations in NATO countries[edit]

First discovered in Italy[edit]

Main article: Gladio in Italy

The Italian NATO stay-behind organization, dubbed "Gladio", was set up under Minister of Defense (from 1953 to 1958) Paolo Taviani's (DC) supervision.[11] Gladio's existence came to public knowledge when Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti revealed it to the Chamber of Deputies on October 24, 1990, although far-right terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra had already revealed its existence during his 1984 trial. According to media analyst Edward S. Herman, "both the President of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, and Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, had been involved in the Gladio organization and coverup..."[12][verification needed] Cossiga admitted his long involvement in the network in 1990, adding, “I am proud of the fact that we have kept the secret of Gladio for 45 years.[13]

Operation Gladio has been dismantled:[14] General Paolo Inzerilli, chief of staff of the Italian security service SISMI, told the parliamentary commission on terrorism that the Prime Minister issued the order on Nov. 28 1990. A month before the organisation had been frozen.[15]

Giulio Andreotti's October 24, 1990 revelations[edit]

Christian Democrat Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti publicly recognized the existence of Gladio on October 24, 1990. Andreotti spoke of a "structure of information, response and safeguard", with arms caches and reserve officers. He gave to the Commissione Stragi, the parliamentary commission led by senator Giovanni Pellegrino in charge of investigations on bombings committed during the Years Of Lead in Italy, a list of 622 civilians who according to him were part of Gladio. Andreotti also stated that 127 weapons' cache had been dismantled, and said that Gladio had not been involved in any of the bombings committed from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Andreotti declared that the Italian military services (predecessors of the SISMI) had joined in 1964 the Allied Clandestine Committee created in 1957 by the US, France, Belgium and Greece, and which was in charge of directing Gladio's operations.[16] However, Gladio was actually set up under Minister of Defense (from 1953 to 1958) Paolo Taviani's supervision.[11] Beside, the list of Gladio members given by Andreotti was incomplete. It didn't include, for example, Antonio Arconte, who described an organization very different from the one brushed by Giulio Andreotti: an organization closely tied to the SID secret service and the Atlanticist strategy.[17][18] According to Andreotti, the stay-behind organisations set up in all of Europe did not come "under broad NATO supervision until 1959."[19]

2000 Parliamentary report: a "strategy of tension"[edit]

In 2000, a Parliament Commission report from the communist/centre-left coalition "Gruppo Democratici di Sinistra l'Ulivo" asserted that a strategy of tension had been supported by the United States to "stop the PCI, and to a certain degree also the PSI, from reaching executive power in the country". It stated that "Those massacres, those bombs, those military actions had been organized or promoted or supported by men inside Italian state institutions and, as has been discovered more recently, by men linked to the structures of United States intelligence." According to The Guardian, "The report [claimed] that US intelligence agents were informed in advance about several rightwing terrorist bombings, including the December 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan and the Piazza della Loggia bombing in Brescia five years later, but did nothing to alert the Italian authorities or to prevent the attacks from taking place.

It also alleged that Pino Rauti, former leader of the MSI Fiamma-Tricolore party, journalist and founder of the far-right Ordine Nuovo (new order) subversive organisation, received regular funding from a press officer at the US embassy in Rome. 'So even before the 'stabilising' plans that Atlantic circles had prepared for Italy became operational through the bombings, one of the leading members of the subversive right was literally in the pay of the American embassy in Rome.' a report released by the Democrats of the Left party says.[20]

General Serravalle's revelations[edit]

General Gerardo Serravalle, who commanded the Italian Gladio from 1971 to 1974, related that "in the 1970s the members of the CPC [Coordination and Planning Committee] were the officers responsible for the secret structures of Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and Italy. These representatives of the secret structures met every year in one of the capitals... At the stay-behind meetings representatives of the CIA were always present. They had no voting rights and were from the CIA headquarters of the capital in which the meeting took place... members of the US Forces Europe Command were present, also without voting rights."[21] Next to the CPC a second secret command post was created in 1957, the Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC). According to the Belgian Parliamentary Committee on Gladio, the ACC was "responsible for coordinating the 'Stay-behind' networks in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, United Kingdom and the United States". During peacetime, the activities of the ACC "included elaborating the directives for the network, developing its clandestine capability and organising bases in Britain and the United States. In wartime, it was to plan stay-behind operations in conjunction with SHAPE; organisers were to activate clandestine bases and organise operations from there."[22] In 1990 General Serravalle said the Italians trained at a military base in Britain and gave evidence in Rome to a parliamentary committee of inquiry into allegations that Gladio was linked to a series of rightwing terrorist attacks. Documents shown to the committee revealed that in the 1970s British and French officials involved in the network visited a training base in Germany built with US money.[6]

General Serravalle, 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 airliner. The Arabs had been spirited out of the country on board the Argo 16.[15]

General Maletti and his testimony[edit]

Just after 1971 becoming number two of the Italian military intelligence service Servizio Informazioni Difesa (SID), General Gianadelio Maletti became concerned by the Piazza Fontana bombing, which occurred less than two years earlier. He helped the neo-fascists accused of having placed the bomb through various screening operations. Therefore he was definitely convicted to two years in prison and escaped to South Africa 1980 to avoid serving his sentence, Maletti became a citizen of that country.[23]

The military prosecutors Benedetto Roberti and Sergio Dini of Padua said they have found original letters and documents, in which, between 1972 and 1973 Maletti demanded the availability of Gladio for very special exercises, courses for blasting techniques and guerrilla warfare.[24]

Maletti himself in the first Piazza Fontana trial received a four-year sentence for providing a false passport to one of the accused bombers, this sentence was overturned in 1985.[25] In 1991 Judge Felice Casson questioned former General Maletti from April 24 to 26, for three days in Johannesburg, South Africa. Maletti spoke for over fifteen hours with the Venetian magistrate who discovered the existence of Gladio and gave his willingness to Casson to answer as a witness questions on the clandestine structure.[26]

Maletti, commander of the counter-intelligence section of the SID from 1971 to 1975, alleged in March 2001 during the eighth trial for the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombings that the CIA had foreknowledge of the event.[citation needed] He claimed that the CIA gave its tacit approval to a series of bomb attacks in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s and told La Repubblica the CIA did not have an active and direct role in the bombings, but the U.S. spy agency knew both the targets and the culprits.[27] According to Maletti, Giulio Andreotti knew that the neo-fascist group Ordine Nuovo, mandated by a foreigner, were the perpetrators of the Piazza Fontana bombing.[28] Gen Maletti said his men had discovered that a rightwing terrorist cell in the Venice region had been supplied with military explosives from Germany. Those explosives may have been obtained with the help of members of the US intelligence community, an indication that the Americans had gone beyond the infiltration and monitoring of extremist groups to instigating acts of violence, he said. The CIA, following the directives of its government, wanted to create an Italian nationalism capable of halting what it saw as a slide to the left and, for this purpose, it may have made use of rightwing terrorism," Maletti continued on by declaring: "I believe this is what happened in other countries as well." During an interview at his Milan hotel Gen Maletti said: "The impression was that the Americans would do anything to stop Italy from sliding to the left." and added "Don't forget that [former US president Richard] Nixon was in charge and Nixon was a strange man, a very intelligent politician but a man of rather unorthodox initiatives."[29]

Maletti received, while in exile, a 15-years sentence in 2000 for his role in trying to cover up a 1973 bomb attack in Milan against the Interior minister, Mariano Rumor, but was acquitted on appeals.[30] Four members of the public were killed and 45 injured when an anarchist, Gianfranco Bertoli, hurled a grenade into a crowd outside police headquarters in Milan. Bertoli, according to the judges, was really a man of right-wing sympathies and a long-standing SID informant, codenamed Negro. Gen Maletti's men were warned in advance of the attack on the minister but took no action to prevent it and failed to pass on their information on Bertoli even after the killings.[29]


After the 1967 withdrawal of France from NATO's military structure, the SHAPE headquarters were displaced to Mons in Belgium. In 1990, following France's denial of any "stay-behind" French army, Giulio Andreotti publicly said the last Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) meeting, at which the French branch of Gladio was present, had been on October 23 and 24, 1990, under the presidency of Belgian General Van Calster, director of the Belgian military secret service SGR. In November, Guy Coëme, the Minister of the Defense, acknowledged the existence of a Belgium "stay-behind" army, lifting concerns about a similar implication in terrorist acts as in Italy. The same year, the European Parliament sharply condemned NATO and the United States in a resolution for having manipulated European politics with the stay-behind armies.[31]

New legislation governing intelligence agencies' missions and methods was passed in 1998, following two government inquiries and the creation of a permanent parliamentary committee in 1991, which was to bring them under the authority of Belgium's federal agencies. The Commission was created following events in the 1980s, which included the Brabant massacres and the activities of far right group Westland New Post.[32]


The Danish stay-behind army was code-named Absalon, after a Danish archbishop, and supposed to be led by Erling J. Harder. Harder and like-minded fought from the 1970s and onwards to what they perceived as subversive marxist business first through Absalon and later through the Selskabet til Værn for Dansk Folkestyre (SVDF). It was hidden in the military secret service Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE). A network did not exist in Denmark before 1950.[33] Harder purchased weapons for the stay-behind arms depot in 1952.[34]

Denmark had a okkupationsberedskab (the real name for the danish stay-behind network) with international relations. It was primarily a matter for the Defense, but time and time again the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) came in contact with the network.[35]

In 1978, William Colby, former director of the CIA, released his memoirs in which he described the setting-up of stay-behind armies in Scandinavia.:

"The situation in each Scandinavian country was different. Norway and Denmark were NATO allies, Sweden held to the neutrality that had taken her through two world wars, and Finland were required to defer in its foreign policy to the Soviet power directly on its borders. Thus, in one set of these countries the governments themselves would build their own stay-behind nets, counting on activating them from exile to carry on the struggle. These nets had to be co-ordinated with NATO's plans, their radios had to be hooked to a future exile location, and the specialised equipment had to be secured from CIA and secretly cached in snowy hideouts for later use. In other set of countries, CIA would have to do the job alone or with, at best, "unofficial" local help, since the politics of those governments barred them from collaborating with NATO, and any exposure would arouse immediate protest from the local Communist press, Soviet diplomats and loyal Scandinavians who hoped that neutrality or nonalignment would allow them to slip through a World War III unharmed."

On November 25, 1990, Danish daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende quoted by Daniele Ganser (2005), confirmed William Colby's revelations, by a source named "Q":

"Colby's story is absolutely correct. Absalon was created in the early 1950s. Colby was a member of the world spanning laymen Catholic organisation Opus Dei, which, using a modern term, could be called right-wing. Opus Dei played a central role in the setting up of Gladio in the whole of Europe and also in Denmark... The leader of Gladio was Harder who was probably not a Catholic. But there are not many Catholics in Denmark and the basic elements making up the Danish Gladio were former [WW II] resistance people – former prisoners of Vestre Fængsel, Frøslevlejren, Neuengamme and also of the Danish Brigade."[36]


In 1947, Interior Minister Edouard Depreux revealed the existence of a secret stay-behind army in France codenamed "Plan Bleu". The next year, the "Western Union Clandestine Committee" (WUCC) was created to coordinate secret unorthodox warfare. In 1949, the WUCC was integrated into NATO, whose headquarters were established in France, under the name "Clandestine Planning Committee" (CPC). In 1958, NATO founded the Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) to coordinate secret warfare.[37]

The network was supported with elements from SDECE, and had military support from the 11th Choc regiment. The former director of DGSE, admiral Pierre Lacoste, alleged in a 1992 interview with The Nation, that certain elements from the network were involved in terrorist activities against de Gaulle and his Algerian policy. A section of the 11th Choc regiment split over the 1962 Evian peace accords, and became part of the Organisation armée secrète (OAS), but it is unclear if this also involved members of the French stay-behind network.[38][39]

La Rose des Vents and Arc-en-ciel ("Rainbow") network were part of Gladio. François de Grossouvre was Gladio's leader for the region around Lyon in France until his alleged suicide on April 7, 1994. Grossouvre would have asked Constantin Melnik, leader of the French secret services during the Algerian War of Independence (1954–62), to return to activity. He was living in comfortable exile in the US, where he maintained links with the Rand Corporation. Constantin Melnik is alleged to have been involved in the creation in 1952 of the Ordre Souverain du Temple Solaire, an ancestor of the Order of the Solar Temple, created by former A.M.O.R.C. members, in which the SDECE (French former military intelligence agency) was interested.[40]


US intelligence also assisted in the set up a German stay-behind network. CIA documents released in June 2006 under the 1998 Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, show that the CIA organized "stay-behind" networks of German agents between 1949 and 1953. According to the Washington Post: "One network included at least two former Nazi SS members -- Staff Sgt. Heinrich Hoffman and Lt. Col. Hans Rues -- and one was run by Lt. Col. Walter Kopp, a former German army officer referred to by the CIA as an "unreconstructed Nazi. "The network was disbanded in 1953 amid political concerns that some members' neo-Nazi sympathies would be exposed in the West German press."[41]

Documents shown to the Italian parliamentary terrorism committee revealed that in the 1970s British and French officials involved in the network visited a training base in Germany built with US money.[6]

In 1976, the secret service BND secretary Heidrun Hofer was arrested after having revealed the secrets of the German stay-behind army to her husband, who was a spy of the KGB.[31]

In 2004 the German author Norbert Juretzko published a book about his work at the BND. He went into details about recruiting partisans for the German stay-behind network. He was sacked from BND following a secret trial against him, because the BND could not find out the real name of his Russian source "Rübezahl" whom he had recruited. A man with the name he put on file was arrested by the KGB following treason in the BND, but was obviously innocent, his name having been chosen at random from the public phone book by Juretzko.[42] According to Juretzko, the BND built up its branch of Gladio, but discovered after the fall of the German Democratic Republic that it was 100% known to the Stasi early on. When the network was dismantled, further odd details emerged. One fellow "spymaster" had kept the radio equipment in his cellar at home with his wife doing the engineering test call every 4 months, on the grounds that the equipment was too "valuable" to remain in civilian hands. Juretzko found out because this spymaster had dismantled his section of the network so quickly, there had been no time for measures such as recovering all caches of supplies.[43]

Civilians recruited as stay-behind partisans were equipped with a clandestine shortwave radio with a fixed frequency. It had a keyboard with digital encryption, making use of traditional Morse code obsolete. They had a cache of further equipment for signalling helicopters or submarines to drop special agents who were to stay in the partisan's homes while mounting sabotage operations against the communists.[42]


When Greece joined NATO in 1952, the country's special forces, the LOK (Lochoi Oreinōn Katadromōn, i.e. "Mountain Raiding Companies") were integrated into the European stay-behind network. The CIA and LOK reconfirmed on March 25, 1955 their mutual co-operation in a secret document signed by US General Trascott for the CIA, and Konstantinos Dovas, chief of staff of the Greek military. In addition to preparing for a Soviet invasion, the CIA instructed LOK to prevent a leftist coup. Former CIA agent Philip Agee, who was sharply criticized in the US for having revealed sensitive information, insisted that "paramilitary groups, directed by CIA officers, operated in the sixties throughout Europe [and he stressed that] perhaps no activity of the CIA could be as clearly linked to the possibility of internal subversion."[44]

The LOK was involved in the military coup d'état on April 21, 1967,[45] which took place one month before the scheduled national elections for which opinion polls predicted an overwhelming victory of the centrist Center Union of George and Andreas Papandreou. Under the command of paratrooper Lieutenant Colonel Costas Aslanides, the LOK took control of the Greek Defence Ministry while Brigadier General Stylianos Pattakos gained control over communication centers, the parliament, the royal palace, and according to detailed lists, arrested over 10,000 people. Phillips Talbot, the US ambassador in Athens, disapproved of the military coup which established the "Regime of the Colonels" (1967–1974), complaining that it represented "a rape of democracy" – to which Jack Maury, the CIA chief of station in Athens, answered: "How can you rape a whore?".[46]

Arrested and then exiled in Canada and Sweden, Andreas Papandreou later returned to Greece, where he won the 1981 election, forming the first socialist government of Greece's post-war history. According to his own testimony, he discovered the existence of the secret NATO army, then codenamed "Red Sheepskin", as acting prime minister in 1984 and had given orders to dissolve it.[47]

Following Giulio Andreotti's revelations in 1990, the Greek defence minister confirmed that a branch of the network, known as Operation Sheepskin, operated in his country until 1988.[48]

In December 2005, journalist Kleanthis Grivas published an article in To Proto Thema, a Greek Sunday newspaper, in which he accused "Sheepskin" for the assassination of CIA station chief Richard Welch in Athens in 1975, as well as the assassination of British military attaché Stephen Saunders in 2000. This was denied by the US State Department, who responded that "the Greek terrorist organization '17 November' was responsible for both assassinations", and that Grivas's central piece of evidence had been the Westmoreland Field Manual which the State department, as well as an independent Congressional inquiry have alleged to be a Soviet forgery.[49] The State Department also highlighted the fact that, in the case of Richard Welch, "Grivas bizarrely accuses the CIA of playing a role in the assassination of one of its own senior officials" while "Sheepskin" couldn't have assassinated Stephen Saunders for the simple reason that, according to the US government, "the Greek government stated it dismantled the "stay behind" network in 1988."[49]


In the Grand Duchy a "monster" process around the so-called Affär Bommeleeër took place. Between 1984 and 1986 there were 24 bomb attacks in Luxembourg. There were no victims, however enormous damage was caused. Power lines, gasworks, and also a European Union summit were targets. Behind it, Gladio and entanglements to the Luxembourg Secret Service (SREL) are assumed. In May 2013 the son of a deceased coworker of the German secret service Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) stated that his father was part of Gladio and co-organized the 1980 Oktoberfest terror attack. There are doubts about the reliability of the witness, but not about the strange role of the secret services.[50]


In 1983 strollers in the forest discovered a large arms cache near the Dutch village of Velp and forced the government to confirm that the arms were related to NATO planning for unorthodox warfare.[31] Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers told Parliament in 1990 that the government is running a secret guerrilla organization similar to the groups whose existence at that time was just discovered in Italy and Belgium. He said in a letter that successive prime ministers and defense chiefs always preferred not to inform other Cabinet members or Parliament on the secret organization. Former Dutch Defense Minister Henk Vredeling said the group set up arms caches around the Netherlands for sabotage purposes.[51] Lubbers said that a secret organisation had also been set up in his country in the 1950s to organise resistance and gather information in the event of a foreign invasion. Lubbers denied that the group was supervised directly by NATO. Speculation that the Netherlands was involved in Gladio arose from the accidental discovery of large arms caches in 1980 and 1983.[52] Lubbers told parliament that the secret organisation had been set up inside the defence ministry in the 1950s originally to provide intelligence to a government in exile. Members of the cell are believed to have taken part in a training exercise in Sicily.[53] The operating bureaus of the organisation would also move to safety in England or the USA at the first sign of trouble.[citation needed]

A Dutch investigative television program revealed on September 9, 2007, that an arms cache that belonged to Gladio was ransacked in the 1980s. The cache was located in a park near Scheveningen. Some of the stolen weapons, including hand grenades and machine guns, later turned up when police officials arrested criminals Sam Klepper and John Mieremet in 1991. The Dutch military intelligence agency, MIVD, feared at the time that the disclosure of the Gladio history of these weapons was politically explosive.[54][55]


In 1957, the director of the secret service NIS, Vilhelm Evang, protested strongly against the pro-active intelligence activities at AFNORTH, as described by the chairman of CPC: "[NIS] was extremely worried about activities carried out by officers at Kolsås. This concerned SB, Psywar and Counter Intelligence." These activities supposedly included the blacklisting of Norwegians. SHAPE denied these allegations. Eventually, the matter was resolved in 1958, after Norway was assured about how stay-behind networks were to be operated.[56][page needed]

In 1978, the police discovered an arms cache and radio equipment at a mountain cabin and arrested Hans Otto Meyer, a businessman accused of being involved in selling illegal alcohol. Meyer claimed that the weapons were supplied by Norwegian intelligence. Rolf Hansen, defense minister at that time, stated the network was not in any way answerable to NATO and had no CIA connection.[57]


Further information: Aginter Press

In 1966, the CIA set up Aginter Press which, under the direction of Captain Yves Guérin-Sérac (who had taken part in the founding of the OAS), ran a secret stay-behind army and trained its members in covert action techniques amounting to terrorism, including bombings, silent assassinations, subversion techniques, clandestine communication and infiltration and colonial warfare.[31]


Main article: Counter-Guerrilla

As one of the nations that prompted the Truman Doctrine, Turkey was one of the first countries to participate in Operation Gladio and, some say, the only country where it has not been purged.[58]

The counter-guerrilla's existence in Turkey was revealed in 1973 by then prime minister Bülent Ecevit,[59] and he immediately became a target for several assassination plots.

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Winston Churchill created the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in 1940 to assist resistance movements and carry out subversive operations in enemy-held territory across occupied Europe. Guardian reporter David Pallister wrote in December 1990 that a guerrilla network with arms caches had been put in place following the fall of France. It included Brigadier "Mad Mike" Calvert, and was drawn from the 5th (ski) battalion of the Scots Guards, which was originally intended to fight against the Soviet forces attacking Finland.[60] Known as Auxiliary Units, they were headed by Major Colin Gubbins, an expert in guerrilla warfare who would later lead the SOE. The Auxiliary Units were attached to GHQ Home Forces, and concealed within the Home Guard. The units were created in preparation of a possible invasion of the British Isles by the Third Reich. These units were allegedly stood down only in 1944. Several of their members subsequently joined the Special Air Service and saw action in France in late 1944. The units' existence did not generally become known by the public until the 1990s despite a book on the subject being published in 1968,[61] although in recent years, much more research has been undertaken on the Auxiliary Units, such as the books by John Warwicker ("Churchill's Underground Army" and "With Britain In Mortal Danger") and the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART),[62] which publishes its work online. In fiction, Owen Sheers' Resistance (2008), set in Wales, takes as one of its central characters a member of the Auxiliary Units called to resist a successful German invasion.

After the end of World War II, the stay-behind armies were created with the experience and involvement of former SOE officers.[31] Following Giulio Andreotti's October 1990 revelations, General Sir John Hackett (1910–1997), former commander-in-chief of the British Army on the Rhine, declared on November 16, 1990 that a contingency plan involving "stay behind and resistance in depth" was drawn up after the war. The same week, Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley (1924–2006), former commander-in-chief of NATO's Forces in Northern Europe from 1979 to 1982, declared to The Guardian that a secret arms network was established in Britain after the war.[6] General John Hackett had written in 1978 a novel, The Third World War: August 1985, which was a fictionalized scenario of a Soviet Army invasion of West Germany in 1985. The novel was followed in 1982 by The Third World War: The Untold Story, which elaborated on the original. Farrar-Hockley had aroused controversy in 1983 when he became involved in trying to organise a campaign for a new Home Guard against eventual Soviet invasion.[63]

Parallel stay-behind operations in non-NATO countries[edit]


In Austria, the first secret stay-behind army was exposed in 1947. It had been set up by far-right Soucek and Rössner, who both insisted during their trial that "they were carrying out the secret operation with the full knowledge and support of the US and British occupying powers." Sentenced to death, they were then pardoned under mysterious circumstances by President Körner (1951–1957).

Franz Olah set up a new secret army codenamed Österreichischer Wander-, Sport- und Geselligkeitsverein (OWSGV, literally "Austrian hiking, sports and society club"), with the cooperation of MI6 and the CIA. He later explained that "we bought cars under this name. We installed communication centres in several regions of Austria", confirming that "special units were trained in the use of weapons and plastic explosives". He precised that "there must have been a couple of thousand people working for us... Only very, very highly positioned politicians and some members of the union knew about it".

In 1965, the police forces discovered a stay-behind arms cache in an old mine close to Windisch-Bleiberg and forced the British authorities to hand over a list with the location of 33 other caches in Austria.[31]

In 1990, when secret "stay-behind" armies were discovered all around Europe, the Austrian government said that no secret army had existed in the country. However, six years later, the Boston Globe revealed the existence of secret CIA arms caches in Austria. Austrian President Thomas Klestil and Chancellor Franz Vranitzky insisted that they had known nothing of the existence of the secret army and demanded that the US launch a full-scale investigation into the violation of Austria's neutrality, which was denied by President Bill Clinton. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns – appointed in August 2001 by President George Bush as the US Permanent Representative to the Atlantic treaty organization, where, as ambassador to NATO, he headed the combined State-Defense Department United States Mission to NATO and coordinated the NATO response to the September 11, 2001 attacks – insisted: "The aim was noble, the aim was correct, to try to help Austria if it was under occupation. What went wrong is that successive Washington administrations simply decided not to talk to the Austrian government about it."[3]


Special forces command.gif

The Turkish branch of Gladio Counter-Guerrilla formed the TMT Turkish Resistance Organisation in Cyprus in 1958 and manned it with Turkish officers. The 1960 constitution of the republic of Cyprus only had provision for a very small professional army of a few hundred men from both Cypriot communities. Following the 1963–64 clashes that led to the collapse of the power sharing between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, the National Guard was created as a conscription Greek cypriot army. The officers for the National Guard where almost exclusively Greek nationals, officers of the Greek Army. LOK units were created in Cyprus modelled on the Greek LOK units, though Cyprus never joined NATO and was at the time a member of the Non-Aligned Movement. Reporter Makarios Drousiotis[64] has written about Greek officer Dimitris Papapostolou, commander of LOK in Cyprus at the time, conspiring with ex-interior minister Polykarpos Yorkatzis to kill elected president Makarios by attacking his helicopter, and after the failure of that attempt, being involved in the assassination of Yorkatzis. The 15 July 1974 coup d'etat against Makarios was executed by National Guard units, with the attack on the presidential palace perpetrated by 31 and 32 Moira Katadromon LOK units with the help of 21 Epilarhia Anagnoriseos tanks reconnaissance unit.[65]


In 1944, the Swedes worked with Finnish Intelligence to set up a stay-behind network of agents within Finland to keep track of post-war activities in that country. While this network was allegedly never put in place, Finnish codes, SIGINT equipment and documents were brought to Sweden and apparently exploited until the 1980s.[66]

In 1945, Interior Minister Yrjö Leino exposed a secret stay-behind army which was closed down (so called Weapons Cache Case). This operation was organized by Finnish general staff officers (without foreign help) in 1944 to hide weapons in order to sustain a large-scale guerrilla warfare in the event the Soviet Union tried to occupy Finland in the aftermath of the Continuation War. See also Operation Stella Polaris.

In 1991, the Swedish media claimed that a secret stay-behind army had existed in neutral Finland with an exile base in Stockholm. Finnish Defence Minister Elisabeth Rehn called the revelations "a fairy tale", adding cautiously "or at least an incredible story, of which I know nothing."[31] However, in his memoirs, former CIA director William Colby described the setting-up of stay-behind armies in Scandinavian countries, including Finland, with or without the assistance of local governments, to prepare for a Soviet invasion.[67]


Several events prior to Spain's 1982 membership in NATO have also been tied to Gladio: In May 1976, half a year after Franco's death, two right-wing Carlist members were shot down by far-right terrorists, among whom were Gladio operative Stefano Delle Chiaie and members of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (Triple A), demonstrating connections between Gladio and the South American "Dirty War". This incident became known as the Montejurra incident.[68] According to a report by the Italian CESIS (Executive Committee for Intelligence and Security Services), Carlo Cicuttini (who took part in the 1972 Peteano bombing in Italy alongside Vincenzo Vinciguerra), participated in the 1977 Massacre of Atocha in Madrid, killing five people (including several lawyers), members of the Workers' Commissions trade-unions closely linked with the Spanish Communist Party. Cicuttini was naturalized Spanish and exiled in Spain since 1972 (date of the Peteano bombing)[69]

Following Andreotti's 1990 revelations, Adolfo Suárez, Spain's first democratically elected Prime minister after Franco's death, denied ever having heard of Gladio.[70] President of the Spanish government in 1981–82, during the transition to democracy, Calvo Sotelo stated that Spain had not been informed of Gladio when it entered NATO. Asked about Gladio's relations to Francoist Spain, he said that such a network was not necessary under Franco, since "the regime itself was Gladio."[71]

According to General Fausto Fortunato, head of Italian SISMI from 1971 to 1974, France and the US had backed Spain's entrance to Gladio, but Italy would have opposed its veto to it. Following Andreotti's revelations, however, Narcís Serra, Spanish Minister of Defense, opened up an investigation concerning Spain's links to Gladio.[72][73] Furthermore, Canarias 7 newspaper revealed, quoting former Gladio agent Alberto Volo, who had a role in the revelations of the existence of the network in 1990, that a Gladio meeting had been organized in August 1991 in the Gran Canaria island.[74] Alberto Vollo also declared that as a Gladio operative, he had received trainings in Maspalomas, in the Gran Canaria island between the 1960s and the 1970s.[75] El País daily also revealed that the Gladio organization was suspected of having used former NASA installations in Maspalomas, in the Gran Canaria island, in the 1970s.[76]

André Moyen, former Belgian secret agent, also declared that Gladio had operated in Spain.[77] He said that Gladio had bases in Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastián and the Canary islands.


In 1951, CIA agent William Colby, based at the CIA station in Stockholm, supported the training of stay-behind armies in neutral Sweden and Finland and in the NATO members Norway and Denmark. In 1953, the police arrested right winger Otto Hallberg and discovered the preparations for the Swedish stay-behind army. Hallberg was set free and charges against him were dropped.[31]


Main article: Projekt-26

In Switzerland, a secret army named P26 was discovered, by coincidence months before Giulio Andreotti's October 1990 revelations. After the "secret files scandal" (Fichenaffäre), Swiss parliamentaries started investigating the Defense Department in the summer of 1990. According to Felix Würsten of the ETH Zurich, "P26 was not directly involved in the network of NATO's secret armies but it had close contact to MI6."[78] Daniele Ganser (ETH Zurich) wrote in the Intelligence and National Security review that "following the discovery of the stay-behind armies across Western Europe in late 1990, Swiss and international security researchers found themselves confronted with two clear-cut questions: Did Switzerland also operate a secret stay-behind army? And if yes, was it part of NATO's stay-behind network? The answer to the first question is clearly yes... The answer to the second question remains disputed..."[79]

Swiss Major Hans von Dach published in 1958 Der totale Widerstand, Kleinkriegsanleitung für jedermann ("Total Resistance," Bienne, 1958) concerning guerrilla warfare, a book of 180 pages about passive and active resistance to a foreign invasion, including detailed instructions on sabotage, clandestinity, methods to dissimulate weapons, struggle against police moles, etc.[80]

In 1990, Colonel Herbert Alboth, a former commander of the Swiss secret stay-behind army P26 declared in a confidential letter to the Defence Department that he was willing to reveal "the whole truth". He was later found in his house, stabbed with his own military bayonet. The detailed parliamentary report on the Swiss secret army was presented to the public on November 17, 1990.[31] According to The Guardian, "P26 was backed by P27, a private foreign intelligence agency funded partly by the government, and by a special unit of Swiss army intelligence which had built up files on nearly 8,000 "suspect persons" including "leftists", "bill stickers", "Jehovah's witnesses", people with "abnormal tendencies" and anti-nuclear demonstrators. On November 14, the Swiss government hurriedly dissolved P26 – the head of which, it emerged, had been paid £100,000 a year."[81]

In 1991, a report by Swiss magistrate Pierre Cornu was released by the Swiss defence ministry. It said that P26 was without "political or legal legitimacy", and described the group's collaboration with British secret services as "intense". "Unknown to the Swiss government, British officials signed agreements with the organisation, called P26, to provide training in combat, communications, and sabotage. The latest agreement was signed in 1987... P26 cadres participated regularly in training exercises in Britain... British advisers – possibly from the SAS – visited secret training establishments in Switzerland." P26 was led by Efrem Cattelan, known to British intelligence.[82]

In a 2005 conference presenting Daniele Ganser's research on Gladio, Hans Senn, General Chief of Staff of the Swiss Army between 1977 and 1980, explained how he was informed of the existence of a secret organisation in the middle of his term of office. According to him, it already became clear in 1980 in the wake of the Schilling/Bachmann affair that there was also a secret group in Switzerland. But former MP, Helmut Hubacher, President of the Social Democratic Party from 1975 to 1990, declared that although it had been known that "special services" existed within the army, as a politician he never at any time could have known that the secret army P26 was behind this. Hubacher pointed out that the President of the parliamentary investigation into P26 (PUK-EMD), the right-wing politician from Appenzell and member of the Council of States for that Canton, Carlo Schmid, had suffered "like a dog" during the commission's investigations. Carlo Schmid declared to the press: "I was shocked that something like that is at all possible," and said to the press he was glad to leave the "conspirational atmosphere" which had weighted upon him like a "black shadow" during the investigations.[83] Hubacher found it especially disturbing that, apart from its official mandate of organizing resistance in case of a Soviet invasion, P26 had also a mandate to become active should the left succeed in achieving a parliamentary majority.[78]

Daniele Ganser and "Strategy of Tension"[edit]

Further information: Strategy of tension

Swiss historian Daniele Ganser in his 2005 NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe accused Gladio of trying to influence policies through the means of "false flag" operations and a "strategy of tension"

NATO's "stay-behind" organizations were never called upon to resist a Soviet invasion. Their structures continued to exist after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Internal subversion and "false flag" operations were explicitly considered by the CIA and stay-behind paramilitaries.[84] According to a November 13, 1990 Reuters cable, "André Moyen – a former member of the Belgian military security service and of the [stay-behind] network – said Gladio was not just anti-Communist but was for fighting subversion in general. He added that his predecessor had given Gladio 142 million francs ($4.6 millions) to buy new radio equipment.[85]

Ganser alleges that on various occasions, stay-behind movements became linked to right-wing terrorism, crime and attempted coups d'état:[3]

"Prudent Precaution or Source of Terror?" the international press pointedly asked when the secret stay-behind armies of NATO were discovered across Western Europe in late 1990. After more than ten years of research, the answer is now clear: both. The overview above shows that based on the experiences of World War II, all countries of Western Europe, with the support of NATO, the CIA, and MI6, had set up stay-behind armies as precaution against a potential Soviet invasion. While the safety networks and the integrity of the majority of the secret soldiers should not be criticized in hindsight after the collapse of the Soviet Union, very disturbing questions do arise with respect to reported links to terrorism.

"There exist large differences among the European countries, and each case must be analyzed individually in further detail. As of now, the evidence suggests the secret armies in the seven countries, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands, focused exclusively on their stay-behind function and were not linked to any acts of terrorism. However, links to terrorism have been either confirmed or claimed in the eight countries, Italy, Turkey, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Sweden, demanding further investigation."

According to Daniele Ganser, only Italy, Belgium and Switzerland carried on parliamentary investigations, while the prosecution of various "black terrorists" (terrorismo nero, neofascist terrorism) in Italy was difficult.

A 1990 article from The Guardian featured the following quote from judge Libero Mancuso:[86]

On the eve of the 1980 Bologna bombing anniversary, Liberato [sic] Mancuso, the Bologna judge who had led the investigation and secured the initial convictions [of the Bologna bombers] broke six months of silence: "It is now understood among those engaged in the matter of democratic rights that we are isolated, and the objects of a campaign of aggression. This is what has happened to the commission into the P2, and to the magistrates. The personal risks to us are small in comparison to this offensive of denigration, which attempts to discredit the quest for truth. In Italy there has functioned for some years now a sort of conditioning, a control of our national sovereignty by the P2 – which was literally the master of the secret services, the army and our most delicate organs of state."

FOIA requests and US State Department’s 2006 communiqués[edit]

Three Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have been filed to the CIA, which has rejected them with the response: "The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of records responsive to your request." One request was filed by the National Security Archive in 1991; another by the Italian Senate commission headed by Senator Giovanni Pellegrino in 1995 concerning Gladio and Aldo Moro's murder; and one in 1996, by Oliver Rathkolb, of Vienna university, for the Austrian government, concerning the secret stay-behind armies after a discovery of an arms-cache.[31]

The US State Department published a communiqué in January 2006 which, while confirming the existence of NATO stay-behind efforts, in general, and the presence of the "Gladio" stay-behind unit in Italy, in particular, with the purpose of aiding resistance in the event of Soviet aggression directed Westward, from the Warsaw Pact, dismissed claims of any United States ordered, supported, or authorized terrorism by stay-behind units. The State Department stated that the accusations of US-sponsored "false flag" operations are rehashed former Soviet disinformation based on documents that the Soviets forged; specifically the Westmoreland Field Manual, whose forged nature was confirmed by former KGB operatives, following the end of the Cold War. The alleged Soviet-authored forgery, disseminated in the 1970s, explicitly formulated the need for a "strategy of tension" involving violent attacks blamed on radical left-wing groups in order to convince allied governments of the need for counter-action. It also rejected a Communist Greek journalist's allegations made in December 2005 (See above).[49]


  • Allan Francovich, BBC Documentary Gladio (1992 three-part BBC documentary)
  • Michele Placido, Romanzo Criminale (2005, concerning the strategy of tension and the Banda della Magliana)
  • Conspirator: The Story of Licio Gelli (2009)
  • German documentary Gladio – Geheimarmeen in Europa (Germany, 2010, 85mn), SWR © tvschoenfilm, Directors: Frank Gutermuth, Wolfgang Schoen
  • Turkish fiction movie "Kurtlar Vadisi Gladyo"

Gladio in fiction[edit]

A precise analogue of Operation Gladio was described in the 1949 fiction novel An Affair of State by Pat Frank.[87] In Frank's version, U.S. State Dept officers recruit a stay-behind network in Hungary to fight an insurgency against the Soviet Union after the Soviet Union launches an attack on and captures Western Europe.

In the Archer episode "Lo Scandalo", the character Mallory Archer mentions having been involved in Operation Gladio when younger. In response, the character Lana Kane describes it as a "weird crypto-facist CIA shitshow, starring Alan Dulles and a whole bunch of former Nazis."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Haberman, Clyde; Times, Special to The New York (Nov 16, 1990). "EVOLUTION IN EUROPE; Italy Discloses Its Web Of Cold War Guerrillas". The New York Times. Retrieved Feb 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Belgian parliamentary report concerning the stay-behind network", named "Enquête parlementaire sur l'existence en Belgique d'un réseau de renseignements clandestin international" or "Parlementair onderzoek met betrekking tot het bestaan in België van een clandestien internationaal inlichtingenetwerk" pp. 17–22
  3. ^ a b c d Ganser, Daniele. "Terrorism in Western Europe: An Approach to NATO's Secret Stay-Behind Armies". ISN. Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, South Orange NJ, Winter/Spring 2005, Vol. 6, No. 1. Retrieved Feb 19, 2015. 
  4. ^ Peake, Hayden B. "Intelligence in Recent Public Literature". The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf. Central Intelligence Agency. 
  5. ^ Len Scott, R. Gerald Hughes Intelligence, Crises and Security: Prospects and Retrospects, Routledge, 2008, p. 123
  6. ^ a b c d Norton-Taylor, Richard and David Gow. Secret Italian Unit," The Guardian, November 17, 1990
  7. ^ Len Scott; R. Gerald Hughes (13 September 2013). Intelligence, Crises and Security: Prospects and Retrospects. Routledge. pp. 123–. ISBN 978-1-317-99756-6. 
  8. ^ J. Patrice McSherry (10 July 2012). Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 44–. ISBN 978-0-7425-6870-9. 
  9. ^ O'Shaughnessy, Hugh. "Gladio: Europe's Secret Networks," The Observer, 18 November 1990.
  10. ^ Heinz Duthel (23 July 2008). Global Secret and Intelligence Service - I. Lulu Enterprises Incorporated. pp. 215–. ISBN 978-1-4092-1088-7. 
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  19. ^ Pallister, David. "How M16 and SAS Join In," The Guardian, December 5, 1990
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  24. ^ "GLADIO, I CORSI SEGRETI DI MALETTI". Archivio - la Repubblica.it (in Italian). Jun 21, 1995. Retrieved Feb 21, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Protest marches as the Milan bomb outrage five go free". The Guardian. 1985-08-03. 
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  64. ^ Crucial Services Limited. "Makarios Drousiotis - Journalist, Writer". makarios.eu. 
  65. ^ Official list of the dead of the coup from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the republic of Cyprus. http://www.mfa.gov.cy/mfa/mfa2006.nsf/All/22F188281F443892C22574E5003E1F85/$file/%CE%A0%CE%A1%CE%91%CE%9E%CE%99%CE%9A%CE%9F%CE%A0%CE%97%CE%9C%CE%91.xls?OpenElement Dead coupists at the presidential palace area are from LOK units 31 MK and 32MK and tanks unit 21 EAN
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  69. ^ Un informe oficial italiano implica en el crimen de Atocha al 'ultra' Cicuttini, relacionado con Gladio, El País, December 2, 1990 (Spanish)
  70. ^ Suárez afirma que en su etapa de presidente nunca se habló de la red Gladio, El País, November 18, 1990 (Spanish)
  71. ^ Calvo Sotelo asegura que España no fue informada, cuando entró en la OTAN, de la existencia de Gladio, El País, November 21, 1990 (Spanish)
  72. ^ Italia vetó la entrada de España en Gladio, según un ex jefe del espionaje italiano, El País, November 17, 1990 (Spanish)
  73. ^ Serra ordena indagar sobre la red Gladio en España, El País, November 16, 1990 (Spanish)
  74. ^ La 'red Gladio' continúa operando, según el ex agente Alberto Volo, El País, August 19, 1991 (Spanish)
  75. ^ El secretario de la OTAN elude precisar si España tuvo relación con la red Gladio, El País, November 24, 1990 (Spanish)
  76. ^ Indicios de que la red Gladio utilizó una vieja estación de la NASA en Gran Canaria, El País, November 26, 1990 (Spanish)
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