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Issue #1799      October 18, 2017

NATO’s Stay-Behind Armies

1940: In England Prime Minister Winston Churchill creates the secret stay-behind army Special Operations Executive (SOE) to set Europe ablaze by assisting resistance movements and carrying out subversive operations in enemy held territory. After the end of World War Two the stay-behind armies are created on the experiences and strategies of SOE with the involvement of former SOE officers.

1944: London and Washington agree on the importance of keeping Western Europe free from Communism. In Greece a large Communist demonstration taking place in Athens against British interference in the post war government is dissolved by gunfire of secret soldiers leaving 25 protesters dead and 148 wounded.

1945: In Finland Communist Interior Minister Leino exposes a secret stay-behind which is being closed down.

1947: In the United States President Harry Truman creates the National Security Council (NSC) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The covert action branch of the CIA, the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) under Frank Wisner sets up stay-behind armies in Western Europe.

1947: In France Interior Minister Edouard Depreux reveals the existence of a secret stay-behind army in France code-named “Plan Bleu“.

1947: In Austria a secret stay-behind is exposed which had been set up by right-wing extremists Soucek and Rössner. Chancellor Körner pardons the accused under mysterious circumstances.

1948: In France the “Western Union Clandestine Committee” (WUCC) is being created to coordinate secret unorthodox warfare. After the creation of NATO a year later the WUCC is being integrated into the military alliance under the name “Clandestine Planning Committee” (CPC).

1949: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is founded and the European headquarters is established in France.

1951: In Sweden CIA agent William Colby based at the CIA station in Stockholm supports the training of stay-behind armies in neutral Sweden and Finland and in the NATO members Norway and Denmark.

1952: In Germany former SS officer Hans Otto reveals to the criminal police in the city of Frankfurt in Hessen the existence of the fascist German stay-behind army BDJ-TD. The arrested right-wing extremist are found not guilty under mysterious circumstances.

1953: In Sweden the police arrests right winger Otto Hallberg and discovers the Swedish stay-behind army. Hallberg is set free and charges against him are mysteriously dropped.

1957: In Norway the director of the secret service NIS, Vilhelm Evang, protests strongly against the domestic subversion of his country through the United States and NATO and temporarily withdraws the Norwegian stay-behind army from the CPC meetings.

1958: In France NATO founds the Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) to coordinate secret warfare and the stay-behind armies. When NATO establishes new European headquarters in Brussels the ACC under the code name SDRA11 is hidden within the Belgian military secret service SGR who has its headquarters next to NATO.

1960: In Turkey the military supported by secret armies stages a coup d’état and kill Prime Minister Adnan Menderes.

1961: In Algeria members of the French stay-behind and officers from the French War in Vietnam found the illegal Organisation Armee Secrete (OAS) and with CIA support stage a coup in Algiers against the French government of de Gaulle which fails.

1964: In Italy the secret stay-behind army Gladio is involved in a silent coup d’état when General Giovanni de Lorenzo in Operation Solo forces the Italian Socialist Ministers to leave the government.

1966: In Portugal the CIA sets up Aginter Press which under the direction of Captain Yves Guerin Serac runs a secret stay-behind army and trains its members in covert action techniques including hands on bomb terrorism, silent assassination, subversion techniques, clandestine communication and infiltration and colonial warfare.

1967: In Greece the stay-behind army Hellenic Raiding Force takes over control over the Greek Defence Ministry and starts a military coup d’état installing a right wing dictatorship.

1970: In Spain right wing terrorists including Stefano delle Chiaie of the Gladio stay-behind army are hired by Franco’s secret police. They had fled Italy following an aborted coup during which right-wing extremist Valerio Borghese had ordered the secret army to occupy the Interior Ministry in Rome.

1971: In Turkey the military stages a coup d’état and takes over power. The stay-behind army Counter-Guerrilla engages in domestic terror and kills hundreds.

1974: In Italy a massacre during an anti-fascist demonstration in Brescia kills eight and injures and maims 102, while a bomb in the Rome to Munich train “Italicus Express”, kills 12 and injures and maims 48.

1974: In Denmark the secret stay-behind army Absalon tries in vain to prevent a group of leftist academics from becoming members of the directing body of the Danish Odense University whereupon the secret army is exposed.

1976: In Germany in the secret service BND secretary Heidrun Hofer is arrested after having revealed the secrets of the German stay-behind army to her husband who was a spy of the Soviet secret service KGB.

1977: In Turkey the stay-behind army Counter-Guerrilla attacks a demonstration of 500,000 in Istambul by opening fire at the speaker’s platform leaving 38 killed and hundreds injured.

1977: In Spain the secret stay-behind army with support of Italian right-wing terrorists carries out the Atocha massacre in Madrid and in an attack on a lawyer’s office closely linked to the Spanish Communist party kill five people.

1978: In Italy former Prime Minister and leader of the Christian Democratic Party, Aldo Moro, is taken hostage in Rome by an armed secret unit and killed 55 days later because he wanted to include the Italian Communists in the government.

1980: In Italy a bomb explodes in the waiting room of the second class at the Bologna railway station, killing 85 and seriously injuring and maiming a further 200. Investigators trace the crime back to right-wing terrorists.

1980: In Turkey the commander of the stay-behind army Counter-Guerrilla, General Kenan Evren, stages a military coup and seizes power.

1981: In Germany a large stay-behind arsenal is discovered near the German village of Uelzen in the Lüneburger Heide. Right-wing extremists are alleged to have used the arsenal in the previous year to carry out a massacre during the Munich October bear festival killing 13 and wounding 213.

1984: In Turkey the stay-behind army Counter-Guerrilla fights against the Curds and kills and tortures thousands in the following years.

1984: In Italy right-wing terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra in court reveals Operation Gladio and the involvement of NATO’s stay-behind army in acts of terrorism in Italy designed to discredit the communists. He is sentenced to life and imprisoned.

1985: In Belgium a secret army attacks and shoots shoppers in supermarkets randomly in the Brabant county killing 28 and leaving many wounded. Investigations link the terror to a conspiracy among the Belgian stay-behind SDRA8, the Belgian Gendarmerie SDRA6, the Belgian right-wing group Westland New Post, and the Pentagon secret service Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

1990: In Italy judge Felice Casson discovers documents on Operation Gladio in the archives of the Italian military secret service in Rome and forces Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti to confirm the existence of a secret army within the state to parliament. As Andreotti insists that Italy had not been the only country involved in the conspiracy the secret anti-communist stay-behind armies are discovered across Western Europe.

1990: In Switzerland Colonel Herbert Alboth, a former commander of the Swiss secret stay-behind army P26, in a confidential letter to the Defence Department declares that he is willing to reveal “the whole truth“. Thereafter he is found in his house stabbed with his own military bayonet. The detailed parliamentary report on the Swiss secret army is being presented to the public on November 17.

1991: In Sweden the media reveals that a secret stay-behind army existed in neutral Finland with an exile base in Stockholm. Finnish Defence Minister Elisabeth Rehn calls the revelations “a fairy tale”, adding cautiously “or at least an incredible story, of which I know nothing.”

1991: In the United States the National Security Archive at the George Washington University in Washington files a Freedom of Information request concerning the secret stay-behind armies with the CIA in the interest of public information and scientific research. The CIA rejects the request with the standard reply: “The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of records responsive to your request.”

1995: In England the London based Imperial War Museum in the permanent exhibition “Secret Wars” reveals, next to a big box full of explosives, that the MI6 and SAS had set up stay-behind armies across Western Europe.

1995: In Italy the Senate commission headed by Senator Giovanni Pellegrino researching Operation Gladio and the assassination of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro files a FOIA request with the CIA. The CIA rejects the request and replies: “The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of records responsive to your request.”

1996: In Austria stay-behind arms caches set up by the CIA are discovered. For the Austrian government Oliver Rathkolb of Vienna University files a FOIA request concerning the secret stay-behind armies with the CIA. The CIA rejects the request and replies: “The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of records responsive to your request.”

Next article – Indigenous Peoples’ Day

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