The Red Brigades (Italian: Brigate Rosse [briˈɡaːte ˈrosse], often abbreviated BR) was a far-left armed organization and guerrilla group based in Italy responsible for numerous violent incidents, including the abduction and murder of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro, during the Years of Lead.
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The Red Brigades(Italian: Brigate Rosse[briˈɡate ˈrosse], often abbreviated BR) was a left-wingterroristorganization, based in Italy, responsible for numerous violent incidents, including assassinations, kidnapping and robberies during the so-called "Years of Lead".
- The First BR Generation
- 1974 Arrest of BR Founders
- Expansion and Radicalization
- New Assassinations by New BR Generation
- East Bloc Support
- Recent Developments
- See Also
- External Links
The Red Brigades were founded in August 1970 by Renato Curcio and Margherita (Mara) Cagol, who had met as students at the University of Trento and later married, and Alberto Franceschini. Franceschini's grandmother had been a leader of the peasant leagues, his father a worker and anti-fascist who had been deported to Auschwitz. While the Trento group around Curcio had its main roots in the Sociology Department of the Catholic University, the Reggio Emilia group (around Franceschini) included mostly former members of the F G C I (the Communist youth movement) expelled from the parent party for extremist views. In the beginning the Red Brigades were mainly active in Reggio Emilia, and in large factories in Milan, (such as Sit-Siemens, Pirelli and Magneti Marelli) and in Turin (Fiat). Members sabotaged factory equipment and broke into factory offices and trade union headquarters. In 1972, they carried out their first kidnapping: a factory foreman was held for some time but later releas...
In September 1974, Red Brigades founders Renato Curcio and Alberto Franceschini were arrested by General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, and sentenced to 18 years in prison. The arrest was made possible by "Frate Mitra", alias Silvano Girotto, a former monk who had infiltrated the BR for the Italian security services.Curcio was freed from prison by an armed commando of the Red Brigades, led by his wife Mara Cagol, but was rearrested some time later. The Red Brigades then operated some high-profile political kidnappings (e.g., Genoa judge Mario Sossi) and kidnapped industrialists (e.g., Vallarino Gancia) in order to obtain ransom money which (together with bank robberies) were their main source of income.
After 1974, the Red Brigades expanded into Rome, Genoa, and Venice, their numbers grew drastically and began to diversify in its criminal ventures. Bank robberies, kidnappings, drugs and arms trafficking were the major crimes. Its 1975 manifesto stated that its goal was a "concentrated strike against the heart of the State, because the state is an imperialist collection of multinational corporations". The "SIM" (Stato Imperialista delle Multinazionali) became a primary target. In 1975, the Italian police discovered the farmhouse where industrialist Vallarino Gancia was kept prisoner by the Brigades (Cascina Spiotta). In the ensuing gunfight, two police officers were killed, as was Mara Cagol, Curcio's wife. That following April, the Red Brigades announced that they had set up a Communist Combatant Party to "guide the working class." Terrorist activities, especially against Carabinieri and magistrates, increased considerably, in order to terrorize juries and cause mistrials in cases...
A new group, with few links, if any, with the old BR, appeared in the late 1990s. The Red Brigades-PCC in 1999 murdered Massimo D'Antona (it), an advisor to the cabinet of Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema. On 19 March 2002, the same gun was used to kill professor Marco Biagi, an economic advisor to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The Red Brigades-PCC again claimed responsibility. On 3 March 2003, two followers, Mario Galesi and Nadia Desdemona Lioce, started a firefight with a police patrol on a train at Castiglion Fiorentino station, near Arezzo. Galesi and Emanuele Petri (one of the policemen) were killed, Lioce was arrested. On 23 October 2003, Italian police arrested six members of the Red Brigades in early-dawn raids in Florence, Sardinia, Rome and Pisa in connection with the murder of Massimo D'Antona. On 1 June 2005, four members of the Red Brigades-PCC were condemned to life-sentence in Bologna for the murder of Marco Biagi: Nadia Desdemona Lioce, Roberto Morandi, Ma...
According to Clarence A. Martin, the BR were credited with 14,000 acts of violence in the first ten years of the group's existence.According to statistics by the Ministry of Interior. A total of 75 people are thought to have been murdered by the BR. A majority of the murders were politically motivated, though a number of assassinations of random police and carabinieri officers took place, as well as a number of murders occurring during criminal ventures such as bank robberies and kidnappings.
The Red Brigades primary foreign support came from the Czechoslovak StB and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Soviet and Czechoslovakia small arms and explosives came from the Middle East via heroin traffickers along well established smuggling routes. Logistic support and training were carried out directly by the Czechoslovak StB both in Prague and at remote PLO training camps in North Africa and Syria. Aware of the involvement and fearing retaliation due to their own involvement with the KGB, the Italian Communist Party lodged several complaints with the Soviet ambassador in Rome regarding Czechoslovak support of the Red Brigades, but the Soviets were either unwilling or unable to stop the StB. This was one of several contributing factors in ending the covert relationship that the Italian Communist Party had with the KGBculminating with a total break in 1979. Italian economist Loretta Napoleoni said in a TED Talk that she spoke to a "part-timer" with the Red Brigades who claim...
In October 2007, a former BR commander was arrested after committing a bank robbery while out-of-prison on good conduct terms. Cristoforo Piancone, who is serving a life sentence for six murders, managed to steal €170,000 from the bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena with an accomplice, on 1 October 2007.Informal Anarchist FederationOctober 22 GroupPrima LineaChris Aronson Beck, Reggie Emilia, Lee Morris, and Ollie Patterson, Strike One to Educate One Hundred: The Rise of the Red Brigades in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s. Seeds Beneath the Snow, 1986. —S...
The Red Army Faction (RAF, German: [ɛʁʔaːˈʔɛf] ; German: Rote Armee Fraktion, pronounced [ˌʁoː.tə aʁˈmeː fʁakˌt͡si̯oːn] ), also known as the Baader–Meinhof Group or Baader–Meinhof Gang (German: Baader-Meinhof-Gruppe, Baader-Meinhof-Bande, German: [ˈbaːdɐ ˈmaɪ̯nˌhɔf ˈɡʁʊpə] ), was a West German far-left ...
Mario Moretti (born 16 January 1946) is an Italian terrorist.A leading member of the Red Brigades in the late 1970s, he was one of the kidnappers of Aldo Moro, the president of Italy's largest political party Democrazia Cristiana (eng. Christian Democrats), and several times premier.
James Lee Dozier (born April 10, 1931) is a retired United States Army officer. In December 1981, he was kidnapped by the Italian Red Brigades Marxist terrorist group. He was rescued by NOCS, an Italian special force, with assistance from the Intelligence Support Activity's Operation Winter Harvest, after 42 days of captivity.
Red Brigades, Italian Brigate Rosse, militant left-wing organization in Italy that gained notoriety in the 1970s for kidnappings, murders, and sabotage. Its self-proclaimed aim was to undermine the Italian state and pave the way for a Marxist upheaval led by a “revolutionary proletariat.”
The "Corte d'Assise" rejected this claim of unconstitutionality (perhaps biased by the murder of a District Attorney, Francesco Coco by the Red Brigades occurred a few days before). Consequently, Fulvio Croce and the other co-counsellors kept defending the members of the Red Brigades. On 28 April 1977, Fulvio Croce was killed.