Secret Warfare: Operation Gladio and NATO's Stay-Behind Armies
Synopsis of the Book
Chapter One: A terrorist attack in Italy
This chapter describes the discovery of the secret stay-behind army “Gladio” in Italy. The chapter takes the reader back to the Peteano terrorist attack of 31 May 1972. In that year an anonymous phone call after the attack suggested that the left-wing terrorist organization “Red Brigades” had carried out the atrocity, and for many years Italy believed that the crime had been carried out by the political left. Yet in 1984 Italian judge Felice Casson reopened the Peteano case after having discovered large-scale manipulations. The chapter describes how Casson during his investigations discovered the Italian secret stay-behind army “Gladio” hidden within the military secret service and how it had linked up with right-wing terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra who confessed to having carried out the Peteano terrorist attack. The chapter focuses on the agitated Italian public debate that followed when Vinciguerra exposed the so called “strategy of tension” through which members of the secret stay-behind armies and the military secret services had manipulated the public through terrorism. The secret armies supplied right wing terrorists with explosives to carry out terrorist attacks on the Italian population who were thereafter blamed on the communist party and the political left in general in order to discredit the political opponent. "The terrorist line was followed by camouflaged people, people belonging to the security apparatus, or those linked to the state apparatus through rapport or collaboration”, Vincenzo Vinciguerra testified. Right-wing organisations across Western Europe “were being mobilised into the battle as part of an anti-communist strategy originating not with organisations deviant from the institutions of power, but from the state itself, and specifically from within the ambit of the state's relations within the Atlantic Alliance."
Chapter Two: A scandal shocks Western Europe
This chapter describes how the democracies in Western Europe in 1990 dealt with the discovery of the secret stay-behind armies in their respective countries. The chapter shows that only three countries, namely Italy, Belgium and Switzerland, carried out a parliamentary investigation into their secret armies and thereafter presented a public report, and details how all other countries dealt with the issue behind closed doors. The chapter describes how the press reacted, with for instance the British daily the Observer speaking of "the best-kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II". Furthermore this chapter relates how the parliament of the European Union (EU) on 22 November 1990 dealt with the issue and how for instance Italian MP Falqui had insisted: "Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, there is one fundamental moral and political necessity, in regard to the new Europe that we are progressively building. This Europe will have no future if it is not founded on truth, on the full transparency of its institutions in regard to the dark plots against democracy that have turned upside down the history, even in recent times, of many European states. There will be no future, ladies and gentlemen, if we do not remove the idea of having lived in a kind of double state - one open and democratic, the other clandestine and reactionary. That is why we want to know what and how many "Gladio" networks there have been in recent years in the Member States of the European Community."
Chapter Three: The silence of NATO, CIA and MI6
This chapter describes the reactions of NATO, the CIA and MI6 to the discovery of the secret stay-behind armies. The chapter details how NATO reacted defensive and at times inconsistent and tells the story of how NATO Spokesman Jean Marcotta on Monday 5 November 1990 at SHAPE headquarters in Mons, Belgium, first denied that NATO had ever been involved in secret warfare, whereupon the next day another NATO spokesman explained that NATO's statement of the previous day had been false, adding that NATO never commented on matters of military secrecy. Thereafter NATO ambassadors on 7 November 1990 were informed behind closed doors by NATO secretary-general Manfred Wörner and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) US General John Galvin. The chapter describes how written requests by the author for further information on the stay-behind networks and NATO’s stay-behind command centres “Clandestine Planning Committee” (CPC) and “Allied Clandestine Committee” (ACC) were declined in subsequent years. The chapter reports how during the same years specific data on CPC and ACC surfaced in Italy. General Gerardo Serravalle, who commanded the Italian Gladio secret army from 1971 to 1974, and General Paolo Inzerilli, who commanded the Italian stay-behind Gladio from 1974 to 1986, both confirmed in their books on the topic that the ACC and the CPC had been founded at the explicit order of NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).
The chapter also records how the foreign secret service of the United States, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), has somewhat inconsistently both commented and refused to comment on its stay-behind armies in Western Europe. William Colby, Director of the CIA from 1973 to 1976, in his book Honorable Men related that the covert action branch of the CIA, the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), had after World War Two “undertaken a major program of building, throughout those Western European countries that seemed likely targets for Soviet attack, what in the parlance of the intelligence trade were known as 'stay-behind nets', clandestine infrastructures of leaders and equipment trained and ready to be called into action as sabotage and espionage forces when the time came.” Several years later Admiral Stansfield Turner, director of the CIA from 1977 to 1981, strictly refused to answer any questions about Gladio in a television interview in Italy in December 1990. When with respect for the victims of the terrorist attacks the journalist insisted and repeated the question the former CIA director angrily ripped off his microphone and shouted: "I said, no questions about Gladio!" whereupon the interview was over. The chapter also relates how academics at the distinguished National Security Archive at George Washington University in Washington filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request with the CIA on 15 April 1991 which was declined. It also notes how a FOIA request which the author handed in on 14 December 2000 was first declined, whereupon the author appealed to which the CIA replied that it will provide an answer in the future which is still lacking. The chapter also details that the British foreign secret service MI6 with its legendary obsession for secrecy did not take a position on stay-behind questions at all but confirmed its involvement through a somewhat unusual channel in the “secret wars” exhibition in the London based Imperial War Museum in 1995.
Chapter Four: The secret war in the United Kingdom
The chapter takes the reader back to World War Two when British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered that under the label “Special Operations Executive” (SOE) a secret army had to be created "to set Europe ablaze”. SOE operated behind enemy lines, and following World War Two the British were widely recognised as the leading experts in secret warfare. The chapter describes how the British foreign secret service MI6 together with the British Special Forces “Special Air Service” (SAS) and the CIA during the Cold War set up and trained the secret stay-behind armies in Western Europe. Among those trained by the SAS ranged Decimo Garau, an instructor at the Italian Gladio base Centro Addestramento Guastatori (CAG) on Capo Marargiu in Sardinia who recalled: "I was in England for a week at Poole, invited by the Special Forces. I was there for a week and I did some training with them. I did a parachute jump over the Channel." Reinhold Geijer, a former Swedish military professional and member of the Swedish stay-behind army recalled that his training in Britain was very tough: "In 1959 I went, via London, to a farm outside Eaton. This was done under the strictest secrecy procedures, with for instance a forged passport. I was not even allowed to call my wife. The aim of the training was to learn how to use dead letter box techniques to receive and send secret messages, and other James Bond style exercises. The British were very tough. I sometimes had the feeling that we were overdoing it." The chapter concludes by observing the United Kingdom to this day has been very reluctant to comment on the secret war. In 1990 British Defence Secretary Tom King, in the midst of preparations for the war against Saddam Hussein, refused to answer stay-behind questions and went on the record with the statement: "I am 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." And also years later journalist Hugh O'Shaughnessy lamented: "The silence in Whitehall and the almost total lack of curiosity among MPs about an affair in which Britain was so centrally involved are remarkable."
Chapter Five: The secret war in the United States
This chapter describes US secret warfare operations in Western Europe from the end of the Second World War in 1945 to the end of the Cold War in 1991. It relates how the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Council (NSC) were created and how directive NSC 10/2 gave them the task to engage in secret warfare. The chapter details how the CIA together with the support of the Pentagon set up the secret stay-behind armies in Western Europe and how the secret war was fought. It describes the tactics and strategies used, including the “strategy of tension” as presented in the Field Manual FM 30-31B: "There may be times when Host Country Governments show passivity or indecision in the face of communist subversion and according to the interpretation of the US secret services do not react with sufficient effectiveness. Most often such situations come about when the revolutionaries temporarily renounce the use of force and thus hope to gain an advantage, as the leaders of the host country wrongly consider the situation to be secure. US army intelligence must have the means of launching special operations which will convince Host Country Governments and public opinion of the reality of the insurgent danger … These special operations must remain strictly secret …Only those persons who are acting against the revolutionary uprising shall know of the involvement of the US Army in the internal affairs of an allied country. The fact, that the involvement of forces of the US military goes deeper shall not become known under any circumstances." The chapter concludes by observing that the United States have until today refused to talk about this difficult aspect of the transatlantic partnership, which in turn has lead to a certain criticism in Europe.
Chapter Six: The secret war in Italy
This chapter describes the complicated and violent history of the secret Cold War in Italy. It describes how the United States in a strategic gamble weakened the Italian Communists and Socialists by supporting the conservative Democrazia Italiana (DCI) whom they manoeuvred into power in the 1948 rigged elections and backed in the decades to come till the Cold War ended. The chapter describes how the Gladio stay-behind army became an asset in this strategy and how the military secret service linked up with right-wing terrorists to manipulate the population with the so-called “strategy of tension”. The chapter relates that Italy suffered from both left and right-wing terrorism during the Cold War. Large-scale right-wing terror started in 1969 when in Milan the “Piazza Fontana massacre” killed 16 and maimed and wounded 80 most of which were farmers who after a day on the market had deposited their modest earnings in the Farmer's Bank on the Piazza Fontana in Milan. The terror was wrongly blamed on the Communists and the extreme left, traces were covered up and arrests followed immediately. In 1974 another bomb exploded in Brescia in the midst of an anti-fascist demonstration, killing eight and injuring and maiming 102, followed by a terror attack in the same year on the Rome to Munich train “Italicus Express”, killing 12 and injuring and maiming 48. The chapter describes how the terror wave culminated on a sunny afternoon during the Italian national holiday when on 2 August 1980 a massive explosion ripped through the waiting room of the second class at the Bologna railway station, killing 85 people in the blast and seriously injuring and maiming a further 200. "You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game” right-wing terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra later explained. “The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the State to ask for greater security. This is the political logic that lies behind all the massacres and the bombings which remain unpunished, because the State cannot convict itself or declare itself responsible for what happened.”
Chapter Seven: The secret war in France
This chapter relates how secret stay-behind armies linked to NATO were set up in France following World War Two. It shows how the clandestine forces, designed to fight the strong French Communist party as well as to prepare against a Soviet invasion, tragically target the French government during the process that lead to the independence of the French colony Algeria in 1962. Following defeats in World War Two and Vietnam sectors of the French military and intelligence opposed the plan of French President Charles de Gaulle to grant Algeria independence, as in their eyes this plan meant yet another defeat for the proud French army. When President de Gaulle proceeded with his plan sections of the French military and intelligence took up arms against the government in Paris. Admiral Pierre Lacoste, director of the French military secret DGSE from 1982 to 1985 under President Francois Mitterand, confirmed after the discovery of the secret NATO armies in 1990 that some "terrorist actions" against de Gaulle and his Algerian peace plan were carried out by groups that included "a limited number of people" from the French stay-behind network. Yet Lacoste insisted that he believed that Soviet contingency plans for invasion nevertheless justified the stay-behind program. The chapter concludes by observing that France to this very day has been very reluctant to investigate the history of its secret armies as well as their links to both the CIA and NATO.
Chapter Eight: The secret war in Spain
This chapter investigates how the Spanish secret stay-behind army developed during the period when Spain was a right wing dictatorship under Francisco Franco. It relates how the country served as a save haven and how according to Italian investigations right-wing terrorists who had cooperated with the Gladio stay-behind armies were regularly flown to Spain after having carried out a terrorist attack. In Spain they were protected from further investigations and in return offered their services to Franco. Among the most notorious right-wing terrorists in Spain ranged Stefano delle Chiaie who had allegedly carried out well over a thousand bloodthirsty attacks, including an estimated 50 murders. Members of Delle Chiaie's secret army, including Italian right-winger Aldo Tisei, later confessed to Italian magistrates that during their Spanish exile they had tracked down and killed anti-fascists on behalf of the Spanish secret service. The chapter relates how following the death of Franco in 1975 the country entered a fragile transition period during which further terrorist attacks were carried out in an attempt to prevent the Spanish left from regaining strength. Among these ranged in 1977 the Atocha massacre in Madrid which had targeted a lawyer's office closely linked to the Spanish communist party and killed five lawyers. The Italian Senate investigation into Gladio notes that when Delle Chiaie was arrested in 1987 in Venezuela he made it clear that he had not acted alone but had at all times closely cooperated with the secret services in Spain, Italy, Chile and other countries: "The massacres have taken place. That is a fact. The secret services have covered up the traces. That is another fact."
Chapter Nine: The secret war in Portugal
The chapter describes how similar to neighbouring Spain also in Portugal the secret army during the Cold War operated within the context of a right-wing dictatorship. The Portuguese military secret service PIDE of dictator António de Oliveira Salazar cooperated closely with the secret army who not only helped to support the dictatorship through assassination operations in Portugal but operated also overseas in the Portuguese colonies in Africa. Operating under the code name “Aginter Press” the secret army allegedly was involved in the assassinations of Humberto Delgado, Portuguese opposition leader, killed 14 February 1965, Amilcar Cabral, leader of the national liberation movement in Guinea-Bissau and one of Africa's foremost revolutionary figures, killed 20 January 20 1973, and Eduardo Mondlane, leader and President of the Mocambique liberation party and movement FRELIMO (Frente de Liberacao de Mocambique), killed in colonial Mocambique on 3 February 1969. The chapter relates how Captain Yves Guerain Serac, a French born militant catholic and anti-communist, played a central role in the secret war in Portugal. Serac was convinced that the West had to use terror, assassinations and manipulation to fight communism: "In the first phase of our political activity we must create chaos in all structures of the regime. Two forms of terrorism can provoke such a situation: The blind terrorism (committing massacres indiscriminately which cause a large number of victims), and the selective terrorism (eliminate chosen persons). This destruction of the state must be carried out as much as possible under the cover of 'communist activities' ... After that, we must intervene at the heart of the military, the juridical power and the church, in order to influence popular opinion, suggest a solution, and clearly demonstrate the weakness of the present legal apparatus ... Popular opinion must be polarised in such a way, that we are being presented as the only instrument capable of saving the nation. It is obvious that we will need considerable financial resources to carry out such operations."
Chapter Ten: The secret war in Belgium
This chapter relates that Belgium, together with Switzerland and Italy, was among the very few countries in Western Europe which following the discoveries of the NATO stay-behind armies in 1990 set up a parliamentary commission to investigate the national secret army and presented a public report on the subject. Belgian Socialist Defence Minister Guy Coeme, who had been unaware of the existence of the secret armies, had insisted on television that he wanted to know the entire history of the Belgian secret army, even if that included links to terrorism: “Furthermore I want to know whether there exists a link between the activities of this secret network, and the wave of crime and terror which our country suffered from during the past years." Coeme was referring to the years 1983 to 1985 when in the geographic area around Brussels called Brabant 14 particularly brutal terrorist attacks on shoppers in supermarkets left 28 dead and many more injured. The chapter relates how the Belgian Senate found that the secret army was code-named SDRA8 and that it was directly linked to NATO’s stay-behind centres Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) and Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC). It also details how the Belgian Senators were unable to clarify whether the secret army had anything to do with the Brabant terror as the Belgian military secret service refused to cooperate. Presenting the larger historical context of the secret war in Belgium the chapter draws on the data from Journalist Allan Francovich who in his television documentary on the secret NATO armies had suggested that the Belgian secret army SDRA8 had linked up with the Belgian right-wing organization Westland New Post (WNP). “There were projects” WNP member Michel Libert confirmed to Francovich. Allegedly he had been told: “'You, Mr. Libert, know nothing about why we're doing this. Nothing at all. All we ask is that your group, with cover from the Gendarmerie, with cover from Security, carry out a job. Target: The supermarkets. Where are they? What kind of locks are there? What sort of protection do they have that could interfere with our operations? Does the store manager lock up? Or do they use an outside security company? We carried out the orders and sent in our reports: Hours of opening and closing. Everything you want to know about a supermarket. What was this for? This was one amongst hundreds of missions. Something that had to be done. But the use it was all put to, that is the big question."
Chapter Eleven: The secret war in the Netherlands
This chapter relates how in the Netherlands a secret stay-behind army was set up following the traumatic occupation experience in World War Two. The network, which was never linked to acts of terrorism, consisted of the two branches “Intelligence” (I) and “Operations” (O), and was referred to as “I&O”. The chapter relates how the Netherlands dealt with the exposure of the military secret and why there was no public investigation nor a parliamentary report. "Successive Prime Ministers and Defence Ministers have always preferred not to inform other members of their cabinets or Parliament", Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers of the Christian Democrats party told parliament in 1990, adding that he was proud that some 30 Ministers had kept the secret. The chapter details how some parliamentarians were greatly surprised when the secret was lifted and contemplated that democratic checks and balances had been violated. "I don't particularly worry that there was, and perhaps still is, such a thing”, Hans Dijkstal of the opposition Liberals observed in parliament. “What I do have problems with is that until last night Parliament was never told".
Chapter Twelve: The secret war in Luxemburg
This chapter tells the story of how Luxemburg prepared for the secret war in Europe. Dutch and Belgian stay-behind research suggests that in March 1948 the so-called "Western Union Clandestine Committee", short WUCC, was set up with the task to carry out peace-time preparations in Luxemburg, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France against an eventual Soviet invasion. Following the creation of NATO in 1949 the stay-behind coordination centre WUCC in April 1951 handed over its functions to the newly created Clandestine Planning Committee CPC operating under the control of NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium. The chapter concludes that the limited data available so far suggests that Luxemburg was part of the network of the NATO secret armies from the very beginning but was never involved in acts of terrorism. Or as Prime Minister Jacques Santer phrased it in front of parliament: “The only activities of these persons, and this is the case for the entire time period in which this network has existed, have been limited to the training in preparation of their missions, including the training of how to behave individually in a hostile environment, and how to coordinate efforts with allied countries."
Chapter Thirteen: The secret war in Denmark
This chapter looks at the secret history of the stay-behind army in Denmark which remains fragmentary because the Danish parliament decided to deal with the issue behind closed doors. The chapter presents the testimonies of former members of the Danish secret army who explained that the stay-behind was never linked to terrorism. The anti-communist secret army was code-named "Absalon” after the Danish Bishop who with the sword in his hand had defeated the Russians in the Middle Ages, an event commemorated in Copenhagen by a large bronze statue of Absalon on horseback in battle gear. The chapter details how Defence Minister Knud Enggaard was reluctant to inform the Danish parliament Folketing in 1990 and first rejected the claim that "any kind" of NATO supported CIA organisation had been erected in Denmark, adding that "further pieces of information on a secret service operation in case of an occupation is classified material, even highly classified material and I am therefore prohibited from giving any further information in the Danish parliament."
Chapter Fourteen: The secret war in Norway
This chapter details how strongly the Norwegian planning for a stay-behind army was influenced by the occupation experience during World War Two. Never again, the heads of the Norwegian military concluded, was the country to be occupied without a resistance network in place. The chapter details how the Norwegian Intelligence Service (NIS) under Vilhelm Evang set up and controlled the secret stay-behind army after World War Two. The Norwegian stay-behind was at no time involved in domestic terror. The chapter details how Evang stirred the secret army through a crisis which came in 1957 when NIS discovered that NATO was spying on Norwegians setting up a blacklist of persons sharing strongly pacifist and negative attitudes to NATO. Evangs was extremely angry and protested strongly during a meeting of the stay-behind centre CPC in Paris in the same year: “When high ranking persons in Norway are being included on such a blacklist, then something must be wrong” Evangs stressed. “My government also views this in a very serious light, and I have standing orders not to take part in international planning if such activities are going on … As far as Norway is concerned, our interest in CPC planning as such has since 1954 declined steadily because there is no future in it for us. We are of the opinion that we are developing a Stay Behind which is to be used at home for the purpose of liberation from an occupation." Only when NATO assured to never again violate Norwegian sovereignty did the NIS resume the stay-behind cooperation.
Chapter Fifteen: The secret war in Germany
This chapter relates how following World War Two a number of Nazis were integrated into the German secret armies. It tells the story of how a branch of the German stay-behind army was already discovered in 1952 under the name "Bund Deutscher Jugend - Technischer Dienst" (BDJ TD) and the mysterious circumstances under which all arrested right-wing members of the BDJ TD walked free. The chapter details how Germany during the secret Cold War did not only suffer from the left wing terrorism of the RAF (Rote Armee Fraktion), but also from right-wing terrorism which on 26 September 1980 in a bomb terror attack in the midst of the popular Munich October festival killed 13 and wounded 213, many gravely. Gundolf Köhler, a 21-year-old right wing member of the Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann according to the police investigation had planted the Munich bomb and died in the terrorist attack. The members of the Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann testified that forest ranger Heinz Lembke had supplied them with explosives. The claim that right-winger Lembke controlled large underground arms caches was confirmed on 26 October 1981 when forest workers by chance stumbled across an underground arsenal of 33 caches containing automatic weapons, chemical combat equipment Arsen and Zyankali, about 14'000 shots of munitions, 50 anti tank guns, 156 kg of explosives, as well as 230 explosive devices and 258 hand grenades. Presumably the Lembke arms caches were part of the German stay-behind set up for the emergency of a Soviet invasion, and Lembke himself was probably a secret soldier. The chapter tells the story how Lembke was arrested and in prison informed his interrogator that he might reveal the entire truth soon, whereupon on 1 November 1981, Lembke was found hanging on a rope from the ceiling of his prison cell. The chapter concludes by noting the difficulties of the German secret service BND to inform the German parliament and public on the secret armies when they were rediscovered in 1990.
Chapter Sixteen: The secret war in Greece
This chapter tells the story of how the Greek stay-behind army LOK (Lochos Oreinon Katadromon) was involved in the at times violent Cold War history of the country. „In the eyes of senior CIA officials, the groups under the direction of the paramilitary branch are seen as long term ‘insurance’ for the interests of the United States in Greece,” former CIA agent Philipp Agee related, “to be used to assist or to direct the possible overthrow of an 'unsympathetic' Greek government. 'Unsympathetic' of course to American manipulation." The chapter relates how tensions in the country between the political left and the political right intensified when in the 1963 elections the leftist Centre Union under George Papandreou secured 42 per cent of the vote and Papandreou was elected Prime Minister. It tells the story how Papandreou in a secret war became the target of Jack Maury, chief of the CIA station in Greece, and how Maury together with Greek royalists and right-wing officers of the Greek military manoeuvred Papandreou out of office by royal prerogative. One month before the latter was about to return to power through the national elections in May 1967 the military coup d’état was carried out which shocked Greece and the world. The chapter relates how the Greek secret stay-behind army LOK was involved in the coup and how 78-year-old George Papandreou was arrested in his house just outside the capital Athens and how he was imprisoned along with thousands of citizens, some of which were tortured. The chapter relates how many years later Andreas, the son of George Papandreou, became Prime Minister, discovered the secret NATO army, and in memory of his father gave the orders to close it down.
Chapter Seventeen: The secret war in Turkey
The chapter tells the story of how the secret NATO stay-behind army - which in Turkey operated under the code-name “Counter-Guerrilla” - prepared not only against a Soviet invasion but also targeted domestic opponents and during the Cold War became repeatedly linked to acts of violence. According to Turkish General Talat Turhan the Counter Guerrilla was involved in torture following the military coup d’etat in 1971. Turhan was himself among the torture victims and later testified: „Then they told me that I was now 'in the hands of a Counter Guerrilla unit operating under the high command of the Army outside the constitution and the laws.' … In this villa I was with tied up arms and feet chained to a bed for a month and tortured in a way which a human being has difficulty to imagine. It was under these circumstances that I first was made familiar with the name Counter-Guerrillas." The chapter relates how the Turkish secret army in the 1980s was involved in clandestine terror operations against the Curds, and how difficult it was for the Turkish democracy to face the history of the Counter-Guerilla when the secret NATO stay-behind armies were discovered in 1990. "When it was discovered in 1990 that Italy had an underground organization called Gladio, organized by NATO and controlled and financed by the CIA, which was linked to acts of terrorism within the country,” General Turhan recalled, “Turkish and foreign journalists approached me and published my explanations as they knew that I have been researching the field for 17 years … In Turkey the special forces in the style of Gladio are called Counter-Guerrilla by the public“ Turhan explained to the press and once again lamented that „despite all my efforts and initiatives of political parties, democratic mass organizations and the media the Counter-Guerrilla has still not been investigated."
The book concludes by noting that the data available so far shows that the NATO secret stay-behind armies existed and that for the first time long hidden aspects of the secret war in Western Europe can be studied in a larger international context. The conclusion highlights that the data on the NATO stay-behind armies as well as on the links to terrorism and crime remains fragmentary and notes that large differences exist from country to country. In some countries there are links to terrorism and crime, while in other countries the secret soldier strictly limited their operations to training for a Soviet invasion. What did NATO know? What did the Pentagon, the CIA and MI6 know? Which terrorist attacks were deviations, and what was planned? Within the context of the so called "war on terrorism" the data on NATO's stay-behind armies opens up an entire field of so far unexplored questions and raises fundamental questions also on the “strategy of tension” for which the answers are still lacking.
DANIELE GANSER worked as a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich in 2003-2006.