[Editor’s note: The Bologna bombing was the opening act of the Gladio terror campaign run by the CIA from Libya.
A year earlier in 1969, the CIA had installed Gadaffi in power in Libya so thy could use the North African nation as a base for nefarious operations in Europe, in particular, Gladio.
Libya is ideally situated, just across the straits of Messina from the toe of Italy and it has a vast tract of empty desert ideal to locate secret ‘black’ sites where munitions and weapons could be warehoused, terrorists trained etc.
Italy was chosen to be the first victim of Gladio because there was a strong possibility the country would turn communist, leave NATO and change the balance of power in the region.
By 1970, Italy was awash with communists, one of the epicentres of the red movement was the Fiat factory in Turin, it is said that the factory floor was totally red, with constant labour disputes and stoppages – a large part of why Fiat cars were utter junk with laughably bad electrics, bodywork that dissolved in the rain and totally lacking in any semblance of reliability.
The bodywork that rusted so quickly has been blamed on cheap steel imported from the USSR as part of the deal that resulted in the Fiat 124 design being used to create the (in)famous Lada. From Wikipedia:
In 1966, Fiat entered into a collaborative agreement with the Soviet government to establish car manufacture in the Samara region of Russia. Fiat was contracted to take part in the creation of the massive VAZ plant in the newly created town of Togliatti, named after the Italian communist leader of the same name. The factory produced an adapted version 124R of the 124, known as the VAZ-2101 “Zhiguli” (sold as the Lada 1200/1300 in export markets), until 1982, and 1200s until 1987.
It was clear that Italy was becoming rather cosy with the USSR and the USA would simply not allow this to happen, so they invented ‘red’ terrorist groups in order to discredit communism in the eyes of the Italian people and turn Italy back towards the West and NATO.
That is why Bologna train station was blown up and why Italy and several other European nations were wracked by terrorism throughout the 70s and well into the 1980s; this was Operation Gladio and it succeeded as no European nation went communist. Ian]
On August 2nd, Italy marks the anniversary of one of the deadliest attacks ever to take place in the country.
On August 2nd 1980, the bombing of a train station in the northern city of Bologna left 76 people dead and a further 200 wounded in a terror attack that shocked Italy.
A device left inside a suitcase in a waiting room at Bologna’s train station exploded at 10.25am.
It was a warm summer weekend and that waiting room, unusual in having air conditioning, was full of people sheltering from the heat.
Some of those injured later died, bringing the total death toll to 85. Most of the train station was destroyed.
The victims were a mix of station staff, local Italians, and tourists including some from abroad. The youngest was a girl, Angela Fresu, aged just three.
The northern Italian university city was unprepared for such a devastating attack, and did not have enough ambulances to transport the wounded. Some were taken to hospital in taxis.
At first, those present thought the blast was an accident; a gas explosion perhaps.
It wasn’t until later in the morning that police began to investigate it as a deliberate bombing. Around midday, different terrorist groups began making claims of responsibility for the act.
The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.
It came as part of the so-called ‘Years of Lead’ in the 1970s and 1980s, during which the mafia, the ultra-leftwing Red Brigades and neo-fascist groups carried out violent attacks.
The Bologna massacre was attributed to the neo-fascist group NAR, and several members were convicted over the attack, but the investigation also uncovered murky links to organised crime groups and even possible ties to the Italian secret service.
The trial lasted decades, with appeals, acquittals, and multiple diversions — a new appeal trial began in 1993, largely due to lobbying from the Association of the Relatives of the Victims.
However, it’s thought likely that some of those involved in planning the attack will never be brought to justice.
In the city today, efforts are continuing to unearth new leads in the investigation.
On 39th anniversary, Italian ministers proposed opening an 18-month “technical and non-political” enquiry aimed at “finding the truth” about those behind the massacre.
His studies in history and background in the media industry have given him a keen insight into the use of mass media as a creator of conflict in the modern world.
His favored areas of study include state-sponsored terrorism, media manufactured reality and the role of intelligence services in manipulation of populations and the perception of events.