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!!! Mail Bomb !!! (More Scare Stories)

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  • Dan Clore
    News for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo Mystery of mail bomb anarchists hangs over Italy Tue 13 January, 2004 01:12 By Shasta
    Message 1 of 16 , Jan 12, 2004
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      News for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      Mystery of mail bomb anarchists hangs over Italy
      Tue 13 January, 2004 01:12
      By Shasta Darlington

      BOLOGNA, Italy (Reuters) -- They haven't injured, let alone
      killed, anyone.

      But seven crudely-made letter bombs sent to European Union
      figures by a previously-unknown anarchist group have Italian
      authorities in hot pursuit.

      The shadowy movement has rattled European anti-terrorism
      investigators and resurrected the ghost of Italy's bloody
      political past.

      "They got what they wanted: the world's attention," said
      Enrico di Nicola, the chief investigator in Bologna where
      the group is thought to be based.

      The identity of those behind the letter bombs has sparked
      speculation in this central Italian city, for decades a
      bastion of the Italian left.

      Are they extremists ready to plunge the country back into
      violence, marginalised teenagers or a front invented by the
      Italian secret services?

      "I go to a lot of anarchist meetings, and I have no idea who
      is behind this. I just hope they don't spark
      recriminations," said Miriam, an orange-haired political
      science student.

      "MERRY CHRISTMAS"

      The letter bomb campaign began just before Christmas when
      one exploded in the hands of European Commission President
      Romano Prodi, a former Italian prime minister, who was at
      home for the holiday in Bologna.

      Since then, at least six more have been posted from Bologna
      to the head of the European Central Bank, members of the
      European Parliament, Europol, and Eurojust, which helps
      fight cross-border crime.

      A group calling itself the Informal Anarchist Federation
      (FAI) claimed responsibility for the first explosion, saying
      it was the beginning of their "Santa Claus" campaign.
      [Most stories have given the name as the Informal Anarchic
      Federation.--DC]

      In a manifesto sent to an Italian newspaper, the movement,
      which has the same initials as the well-established Italian
      Anarchist Federation, said it was opposed to the "new
      European order" and advocated "armed struggle".

      Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu has warned of potential
      links with members of the ultra-left Red Brigades urban
      guerrillas.

      The Red Brigades terrorised Italy in the 1970s and 1980s
      with assassinations and kidnappings. As recently as 2002, a
      modern offshoot murdered a government advisor outside his
      home in Bologna.

      NO BLOOD SEEN

      Investigators in the medieval, porticoed city, however, have
      played down fears of a return to the "years of lead", named
      after the quantity of bullets that littered Italian streets.

      "Could they eventually kill people? I sincerely don't think
      so," di Nicola told Reuters, though he wouldn't rule out
      fresh letter bomb campaigns aimed at new targets.

      Crime and political experts tend to agree.

      They say those behind the letter bombs are likely members of
      loosely-linked anarchist movements intent on destroying what
      they see as society's oppressive institutions, which are
      represented increasingly by the EU instead of individual states.

      "You can't exclude that one day they will make a bigger
      bomb, but the strategy for now seems to be low intensity
      explosives with a big media impact," said Gianni Cipriani, a
      left-leaning author who has written about Italian terrorism.

      The letter bomb campaign is not an isolated incident --
      police suspect anarchist groups are behind several parcel
      bombs that were sent last year to police stations across
      Italy and especially in Sardinia.

      NO RULES, NO BOSSES

      Investigators say the movement could have up to 350 members
      and sympathisers with a wide range of profiles -- from
      radical "punks" who might be found on the margins of
      anti-globalisation marches to intellectuals steeped in theory.

      "This movement is characterised by a complete lack of
      structure and cohesion. In that world there are no rules and
      no hierarchies," Cipriani said.

      Investigators worry that they are building ties with more
      experienced Greek and Spanish anarchists. Italy's official
      anarchist groups have denounced the letter bombs which they
      believe are a government "smokescreen".

      "They want to divert attention from the fact that their
      coalition is divided, the economy is weak and labour groups
      across the country are striking," said Federico Ferretti of
      the Italian Anarchist Federation.

      Italy's anarchist movement saw its heyday during World War
      Two as opposition to Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini grew.

      Since 1945, it has followed a more Marxist model promoting
      grassroots movements and opposing class dominance in
      conventional ways such as newspapers and protest marches.

      In Bologna, locals are taking it all with a pinch of salt.

      "We're not worried. We've seen terrorism, but there's a
      difference between putting explosives in an envelope and
      killing someone," said the owner of the bar on Prodi's
      street, who has even named a cocktail "La Bomba".

      *****

      Dummy letter bomb delivered to Prodi home in Italy
      http://www.chinaview.cn
      2004-01-13 11:03:10

      ROME, Jan. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- An envelope containing spent
      cartridges, firecrackers and a handwritten threat, was
      delivered on Monday to the Bologna home of European
      Commission President Romano Prodi, police said.

      The contents of the envelope, addressed to the Prodi family,
      were not designed to explode but merely to be a "symbolic
      threat" aimed at the European Commission chief, Italian
      police investigators said.

      The parcel succeeded in penetrating the tight security
      facilities placed at Prodi's home because it contained no
      detonating device, police noted.

      All mails addressed to Prodi's home have been scanned by
      security staff since a letter bomb burst into flames in his
      hands on Dec. 27, causing no injury or damage but a certain
      alarm.

      The document in the envelope, accompanied by a photo of
      Prodi cut out of a newspaper, is believed to be the work of
      a Sardinian anarchist group.

      Italian investigators declined to say where the letter was
      posted from but specified that it had not come from Bologna,
      unlike a batch of letter bombs sent to top European Union
      officials recently.

      *****

      12 Jan 2004 20:02:34 GMT
      Threatening parcel sent to Prodi's Italy home

      BOLOGNA, Italy, Jan 12 (Reuters) -- A parcel containing
      spent shotgun shells arrived at Romano Prodi's Bologna home
      on Monday, and police said they did not know if there was
      any link with a letter bomb sent to the European Commission
      chief in December.

      Police sources told Reuters that security staff opened the
      parcel, which they described as harmless.

      The package also contained fireworks, an anarchist political
      declaration, a threatening message and a newspaper cutting
      with a photograph of Prodi, a former Italian prime minister,
      the police sources said.

      The parcel was sent on January 9 from Cagliari, capital of
      the island of Sardinia, which has for decades been home to a
      low-level insurrectionist movement opposed to rule from Rome.

      The sources said it was not yet known whether there was a
      link between the package and a series of parcel bombs that
      have been sent in the past month to EU institutions and
      officials.

      One parcel bomb burst into flames in Prodi's hands on
      December 27 when he opened it at his Bologna apartment.
      Prodi was not injured.

      Most of the parcel bombs directed at EU figures are believed
      to have been posted from Bologna, a battleground in the past
      for extremist groups of the right and left. None of the
      parcel bombs caused injuries.

      Prodi was not in his flat when Monday's threatening parcel
      arrived.

      --
      Dan Clore

      Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
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      "It's a political statement -- or, rather, an
      *anti*-political statement. The symbol for *anarchy*!"
      -- Batman, explaining the circle-A graffiti, in
      _Detective Comics_ #608
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