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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76494 Find in a Library
Title: Structure and Dynamics of Italian Terrorism (From Clandestine Tactics and Technology - A Technical and Background Intelligence Data Service, Volume 6 - See NCJ-77153)
Author(s): V S Pisano
Corporate Author: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Bureau of Operations and Research
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 34
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA 22314
International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Arlington, VA 22201
Sale Source: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The components, ideologies, targeting techniques, and transnational and international aspects of Italian terrorism are discussed, and the countermeasures used against Italian terrorism are analyzed.
Abstract: Italian domestic terrorism is kept alive by four components corresponding to the separatist, anarchist, neo-Fascist, and Marxist-Leninist ideologies, respectively. To these can be added foreign terrorist elements that occasionally operate in Italy, mostly against non-Italian targets. The Marxist-Leninist component is the best organized and the most menacing. Leftist bands are responsible for the escalation, intensity, and unprecedented sophistication of present-day terrorism in Italy. Some of these groups entertain contacts with sister bands abroad. The rightist component is the second most active component in Italian terrorism. The upsurge and development of Italy's contemporary terrorist phenomenon are attributable to a variety of sociopolitical factors. Also, the existence of several precedents of political violence and incipient insurgency, registered since the end of World War II, has aggravated the situation by providing operational models and residual assets, both human and material. The structure and dynamics of the leftist terrorist bands show five general patterns adopted from the South American urban guerrilla warfare model: (1) rigid clandestinity and systematic violence, (2) simultaneous political action and armed struggle, (3) spontaneous and sporadic terrorist actions, (4) combined actions, and (5) auxiliary support. Since the adoption of the latest antiterrorist measures by the Council of Ministers in December, 1979, and the subsequent 'great spring offensive' of 1980 by the law enforcement agencies, Italian terrorism has suffered serious setbacks. In making arrests and obtaining convictions, the authorities have relied primarily on confessions made by 'repentant' terrorists. While the confessions have led to a number of arrests and seizures of 'safehouses,' none have resulted in the capture of leading operatives or in the disclosure of behind-the-scenes principals or abettors. The ability of the leftist bands to reassert themselves after major assaults against them could be indicative of the existence of vast terrorist resources still untouched by police efforts. Appended are chronologies of significant terrorist actions by the various terrorist components. Bibliographies are provided for Italian and English language material, and notes are included.
Index Term(s): Counter-terrorism tactics; Crime specific countermeasures; International cooperation; Italy; Red Brigades; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Terrorism causes; Terrorist ideologies; Terrorist tactics
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