This report will explore the Red Brigade group. I the Deputy Director of CIA for Operations, will identify their objectives for conduction their terrorist attacks, the reasons behind their approach, and speculate on future threats that the organization may pose on the nation of Italy. I will finally, propose some of the means that can be used to disseminate and destroy the group before it is too late. The report will discuss issues that happened before the group’s inception, those that have taken place within the five years they have been in operation (1969-1974) and those that the group is expected to conduct in the future.
Historically, terrorism did not just start. There are records of up to 1880s when the first wave of Anarchist emerged in Russia. The group called itself “The People’s Will” (Narodnaya Volya) which continued to the early decades of the nineteenth century. The Anarchism wave was followed by the anti-colonial wave which started around the 1920s and has just ended ten years ago, (1960). The end of the anti-colonial wave opened doors to the New Left Wave which we are currently experiencing where groups of people with particular agendas rise and disrupt the peace in countries they are present. Italy as a country is experiencing one of the many extremist groups in the world and which has gained popularity since its inception in 1969, five years ago, (Parker and Sitter).
The group is calling itself Brigate Rosse (Red Brigades in English). There have been other terrorist groups in the past that may not fit in the wave categories like the Ku Klux Klan which ran between 1865 and 1876. However, these groups still terrorized people and disrupted the peace of a nation. The current times we are living is when there are so many extremist groups with ideologies based on Nationalism, Capitalism, Marxism or Marxism-Leninism all over Europe (Parker and Sitter).
The origin of the Brigate Rosse and its ideologies
The Brigate Rosse is a group of communist students from the University of Trento in the Northern parts of Italy. Other members of the group are workers of the factory around the same locality as the University. The leader of the group is believed to be Renato Curcio a former student and an advocator for the communism. Curcio has a wife by the name Margherita “Mara,” who is also a significant figure in the organization. From what is known about the two is that they were formerly Catholics and married in the church. They studied sociology and a few years at the University led to their entanglement in the student’s movements and where they ganged influence (Smith 16). The school forms a ground for student’s activism, innovation and radicalism as it is the only one in the region with students who have lots of potentials.
In 1969 Curcio together with his girlfriend Margherita Cagol left the University for Milan, where they met another youth, a communist like them by the name Alberto Franceschini from the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. The three founded an organization that was meant to bring together and radicalize all anti-capitalist in the universities and in working capacity. The group was officially formed on 20th October 1970 and was first named Metropolitan Political Collective. The organization was as a result of the Communist Party failure to engage in revolution while working for the goals of the extremists. As a result, the Red Brigades emerged as the leading and influential organization in Italy (Sundquist 53).
It is evident from the brief history of the organization that their primary purpose is to do away with the capitalism as they are advocating for communism. The leaders of the group consider themselves to be true Marxists and intend to spread the influence among their followers. The group has also been found to follow doctrines and ideologies that allow armed violence against any state that supports the ideology of capitalism. Curcio is a firm believer that capitalism is an ideology that is monstrous and is about to devour the world and with this, he has been able to attract people to listen to him and to buy in his ideology. The organization continues to gain influence and recruiting the young and energetic people in the society (Sundquist 56-57).
The primary objective of the Red Brigade
All the activities that have taken place are directed to the capitalists in Italy and the political leaders. The group sorts to create a real socialist state which is Italy aligned with Mao Zedong’s and Lenin’s ideology in the large Italian cities which are Milan and Turin. A significant element of the Marxist-Lenin ideology is that all developments that took place in history were obtained through struggle (Sundquist 55). The struggles could be within a nation where a group of people, for example, the Red Brigades push for change. It could be between two countries like Italy and France fighting for the border. It could also be overall issues affecting the world, and the world has to struggle to eliminate then, they would be issues like imperialism. The struggles could be illustrated through an example of a leader by the name Joseph Stalin, the head of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). Stalin helped the Russia succeed in bringing revolution based on socialism. The Red Brigades organization finds inspiration from the revolution of the socialism by the USSR (Smith 17). The political movement leaders operate mainly in factories where labor disputes pressing and the social disparities between various members of the society are evident.
The leadership of the organization is pressing for the creation of a revolutionary Italy by creating a split between the Italian government and the other Western Alliances, through armed struggle. Due to the group’s disdain for the Union leadership poor treatment of the local factory workers and the government’s reservation in solving important issue put forward by the unions, the group has resolved in attacking the people involved. They include businesspeople, politicians, and unionists. The attacks on these leaders are through the destruction of their vehicles, factory equipment, and the business offices without leaving out the union’s Headquarters (Sundquist 57-58). The tactics, however, have shifted since 1971 where the organization has committed more dangerous crimes.
The Red Brigade group has claimed responsibility for several kidnappings that have taken place in Italy. The organization is slowly becoming prevalent in Italy and the entire Europe as their work has been widely seen and felt. Their target on the human was first felt in March 1972 when they kidnapped a foreman in the factory Sit-Siemens. From this, we learn that as the group progresses, their strategies change and not for the better but worse. Today as we speak (May 1974), the group has kidnapped Mario Sossi, the district attorney. Sossi an openly aggressive investigation on the group and the activities they conduct (Smith 15).
The team is using Sossi to threaten in negotiating for the release of their fellow militant men. In his investigations, Sossi had discovered that the Red Brigades was the same group he had investigated in in the late 1960s. The group has placed leaflets on telephone booths informing the police that Sossi is being held at the “People’s jail” where he would later be presented to the “revolutionary tribunal” for a trial (Smith 16). We are not sure whether the court will grant the organization their demands as by doing so would mean that the terrorist's group has overtaken the country. The kidnapping of the district attorney Mario Sossi is proof that the organization is intending to not only attack the factory and address their issues but also go beyond the capitalist system. Going after someone who was only doing investigations on the group is proof that the organization is willing to do anything to cover its tracks and protect anyone who is a close associate of the militant. The attacks present a threat to the leaders in the country and the state itself as they are directed to the people who run the country (Smith 15). Their intentions are clear in that they want to make Italy insufferable by all means they can so that Italy abides with their demands for the country leaving the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Threats posed by the Red Brigades.
It is believed that the organization is going to publish a manifesto next year which will help the organization define future goals and objectives. From what we can speculate is that their intentions will be to continue spreading terror in the entire country trough attacks directed to leaders as they have been doing in the past few years. The manifesto to be created will have a clear guidance and will give in details some of the political targets the group has done from its conception till 1975, around the time of publishing the manifesto. The declaration is aimed at solidifying the organization’s reasoning as they head to do more attacks on the legal authorities, local police officers. The document will be aimed at uniting the group in their efforts of enhancing their terror operations all over the main cities in Italy. It will also highlight the ideologies the organization has had and the shift to the new ones to gain more followers from both that political arena and the worker’s movement. The manifesto will align the organization to be more of a nationalistic militant movement against the other organizations which are Italian state and the regional authorities (Sundquist 59).
As seen earlier on, the movement is becoming more aggressive by the day. Through the evolution we have seen, the group change from being soft to roughing up members of the public. We cannot expect them to change for the better instead the situation will become worse. The aggressiveness would measure up to anarchism which unfortunately is one of the most dangerous in the world as it disregards all forms of authority, beliefs, and involuntary rule, therefore, will present chaos all over Italy disrupting any developments from taking place. The approach would be one influenced by writings and ideas of Lin Biao, Carlos Marighella, Abraham Guillen and Che Guevara. Carlos Marighella was the author of the book Mini-manual of Urban Guerrilla Warfare and which describes how to conduct the urban campaign in details. The organization, after all, has always followed the teachings from extremists. The book is currently used by the group to carry out some of the attacks in the major cities of Italy (Marone).
Considering that in any society leaders are always few compared to the followers, Italy is therefore in dire danger. If the organization succeeds in convincing the majority that they will destroy the leaders and make Italy a free state, the country will no longer be safe for anyone holding a position in the government. The organization is currently gaining support from young people in the country and within no time they will be able to convince the elderly. The organization is capable of this and more as they will be susceptible to external agencies pretending to support them yet their underlying motive would be to see the downfall of Italy as a state. The outside organizations in question would be like the shadow wars fighting in Italian cities between the cold war powers which are spreading a rumor that the current Italian government is about to fall. The idea has turned out to be beneficial to the Red Brigades as many people are joining the organization (Smith 20). The people range from working middle class to the intellectuals at the corridors of the universities and regional levels.
The organization is also gaining a lot of support, and their numbers are currently on the rise, there has been a speculation that the organization has over 100 full-time members who are paid by the organization. There I also an above-ground group of members within the ages between the mid-20s to late-30s living their normal lives with ties to the organization that dates back to their time in the university like the founders of the organization. The members hold high positions in large corporations in the country, in government offices and on political parties as well. Other than the individuals, it has been determined that larger powers are interested in funding and arming the organization with the necessary tools they need to bring down the ideologies followed by the Italian government. Groups like Red Brigades that disregard authority are a hazard to the society as they can storm in any place like banks and rob money to fund their activities. They may also kidnap people especially government dignitaries and demand for ransom. The idea of kidnapping is not too far from what the organization does as they have recently started capturing people. As we have seen, their activities are becoming worse with each day. Therefore, it is expected that they will get worse if they are not controlled (Smith 19).
Recommendation on how to destroy the Red Brigades
· Infiltrating the organization. Through this, our operatives working undercover will be able to learn all that there is to learn about the organization. Included are their chain of command, hideouts, strategies and even their plans, and from this, we can be able to destroy them from the inside. The easier way of doing this would be creating a division between the leaders. Infiltration will also help us arrest all the heads which will ultimately destroy the organization.
· Crackdown on terrorism sympathizers. The people supporting the team are known with evidence based on the financial aid they provide. Therefore, arresting them would render the group without funding or leadership which will help save thousands of people touched by the organization.
· Review the university policy to limit radicalization where the organization originated.
· Sensitize the youths and the vulnerable in the society on the adverse effects the group will cause in the future which would discourage the young from joining.
The Red Brigades is a threat not only to Italy but the rest of the world too. The organization could gain control over the whole of Europe and spread the disease to the entire world. Its strategy of appealing to the public through its narrative of fighting the inequity, injustice and the need for revolution puts various nations in a compromising situation and therefore the need to extinguish it before it gains more strength to paralyze the entire world.
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