Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

News & Supplemental  

The bloody irrationality of political violence returns to Italy…?

There was an unexplained school bombing in Italy yesterday. No on has claimed responsibility. Two men were arrested and one is an ex-soldier with knowledge of electronics. Senseless violence for ambiguous causes has once again reared its ugly head in Italy:

Italy in shock after school bomb blast kills teenager

By Gildas Le Roux | AFP – May 19, 2012

Italy was in shock on Saturday after an unexplained bombing at a school killed a 16-year-old girl and left five other teens gravely injured, sparking emotional protests across the country.

There were scenes of chaos and carnage when the powerful blast went off at 7:45 am (0545 GMT) near the entrance to the building as students were arriving for classes at the vocational high school in the southern city of Brindisi.

The four other victims being treated were all suffering from extensive burns and five more had been discharged from hospital with lighter injuries.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast and Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri said investigators were looking into “numerous hypotheses.”

The explosive was composed of three gas canisters with a timer device hidden in a container next to a wall just outside the school, which teaches social work, tourism and fashion and is named in honour of a victim of the mafia.

The region where the attack took place is a hub of the Sacra Corona Unita (United Sacred Crown), a local mafia that has been under pressure from investigators in recent years and whose influence is seen as being on the wane.

The group, which is heavily involved in drug and arms smuggling through the Balkans as well as human trafficking, is believed to be behind a separate bomb attack in the region earlier this month against an anti-mafia campaigner.

Observers pointed to the fact that school is named after Francesca Morvillo, the wife of famous anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, who was assassinated with her husband and three bodyguards by a mafia bomb 20 years ago on Wednesday.

But officials cautioned that it was unlikely the Sacra Corona Unita would target civilians in its own territory and said the device used was not sophisticated enough for an organisation that has easy access to explosives.

Local mafia organisations want social consensus. This act would go against their interests because it would alienate any sympathy,” said local chief prosecutor Cataldo Motta, adding: “Too many coincidences could be just that.”

Thousands of young people led protests in several cities and many said they believed the attack could be linked to the mafia or political militancy at a time in which Italy is struggling through a painful economic crisis.

“Cowards!” read a banner held up at a protest in the heart of Rome.

Every time someone tries to change something in Italy, there’s always something dramatic, an attack to terrorise people,” said one man in the crowd, Enrico Fontana from the anti-mafia group Libera.

Along with several other participants, he likened the school bombing to a wave of attacks carried out by far-right and far-left militants in the 1970s and 1980s in a period known as the “Years of Lead”.

Thousands also took to the streets of Brindisi to voice their anger.

The cautions by officials against concluding that this must have been an act by the local branch of the Albanian “Sacra Corona Unita” mafia are worth internalizing (as unsettling as some of their past activities may be). The entire country has been on an elevated security level after a series of attacks on government officials by anarchists that explicitly do not seek out or desire public support:

Italian anarchists kneecap nuclear executive and threaten more shootings

Group named after Greek anarchist warns it will strike seven more times at nuclear firm’s parent company, Finmeccanica

Tom Kington in Rome
guardian.co.uk, Friday 11 May 2012 12.55 EDT

An anarchist group claimed responsibility on Friday for kneecapping an Italian nuclear engineering executive and warned it would strike another seven times at the firm’s parent company, Finmeccanica.

In a four-page letter sent to an Italian newspaper, the group, calling itself the Olga Nucleus of the Informal Anarchist Federation-International Revolutionary Front, said two of its members had shot Roberto Adinolfi, the CEO of Ansaldo Nucleare, in Genoa on Monday.

The firm is owned by Italian state-controlled defence and aerospace group Finmeccanica, which operates 16 sites and employs 10,000 people in the UK.

The letter, which was deemed credible by investigators, said the cell named itself after Olga Ikonomidou, one of eight Greek anarchists it listed as currently jailed in Greece. Seven further attacks would be carried out, one for each of them, the letter stated.

On Thursday, the industry minister, Corrado Passera, warned Italy’s economic crisis was threatening social cohesion.

In its letter, the Olga Nucleus said it could have chosen to attack Equitalia but was not looking to win public support. “We have nothing to do with citizens who are indignant about something which doesn’t work in a system in which they want to be a part,” it wrote.

“We are wild lovers of freedom, and will never renounce the revolution or the complete destruction of the state and its violence.”

This same mysterious Olga Nucleus group threatened the Italian Prime Minister recently and claimed to have sent a letter bomb to Deutche Bank’s CEO Joseph Ackermann last year. So who knows. It could very well be mafiosos that planted the bomb given the circumstantial evidence. But with all the other violent nuttiness out there and the general breakdown of social cohesion that takes place during an economic collapse it’s important to remember that there are plenty of other groups in Italy and elsewhere striving to be the most useful idiot on the scene. And if this was an act done by a real group trying to achieve a political goal this must be a profoundly idiotic group of psychos.

And then there’s that.


2 comments for “The bloody irrationality of political violence returns to Italy…?”

  1. And in other awful news:

    Germany targeted in Greek attacks
    6:42 AM Wednesday May 16, 2012

    German prosecutors say a car belonging to the head of a European Union task force for Greece has been destroyed in an apparent arson attack.

    The dapd news agency reports that an unknown group calling itself “Loukanikos” has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Dapd cited the prosecutors’ office in Potsdam as saying Tuesday that Loukanikos is also the name of a stray dog frequently seen at political protests in Athens.

    In a second incident, Police in southern Greece have arrested two local men suspected of an apparently random xenophobic attack on an elderly Dutchman walking his dogs on a beach.

    A police statement says the 78-year-old retired engineer, a local resident for 17 years, was severely injured Sunday near the mediaeval town of Monemvasia, a tourist attraction.

    According to the pensioner’s deposition, two men in a car drove up and asked if he was German. When he replied that he was Dutch, the men attacked him anyway with stones and kicks, breaking his jaw and shouting “This is Greece.”

    Police reported the incident and said two Greeks aged 48 and 45 have been arrested.

    Greece is in a major financial and political crisis, which some blame on German-led demands for austerity.

    – AP

    It looks like opposition to austerity might be entering a violently stupid phase. The anarchist and thugs (and friends?) are on the scene.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 20, 2012, 6:39 pm
  2. It looks like there’s growing evidence that the bombing suspect did not act alone. Two witnesses claim to have seen a different man haul the explosives to the school:

    Italy: Brindisi school bombing suspect ‘may not have acted alone’
    last update: June 08, 17:59

    Lecce, 8 June (AKI) – Giovanni Vantaggiato, the main suspect the in the May bomb blast that killed a teenage schoolgirl in southern Italy may have had accomplices or even have acted on orders, the Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno daily reported Friday.

    Vantaggiato, a 68-year-old fuel vendor was arrested Wednesday and has admitted to carrying out the bombing in the port city of Brindisi on 19 May.

    Sixteen-year-old Melissa Bassi died, a second female student was critically injured and five other pupils were wounded when the bomb made from gas canisters exploded in a waste bin outside the school.

    Two witnesses also said they saw a person who was not Vantaggiato wheeling a bin up to the entrance of a school the night before the early morning attack, prosecutors wrote in Vantaggiato’s 6 June detention order.

    He was arrested after being identified from surveillance cameras outside the school apparently reaching into his pocket at the moment of the remotely detonated 19 May blast.

    Vantaggio, has admitted that he “intended to kill for personal vendetta” and has accidentally used the world “we” several times during questioning, according to the Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno.

    Suspicion over the bombing had initially fallen on the mafia. The school is named after Francesca Morvillo, wife of slain anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, who died with her husband in a mafia bombing in Palermo on 23 May, 1992.

    A march had been due to take place in Brindisi on 20 May to mark the 20th anniversary of the killings.

    Never mind:

    Brindisi bomber confirms he acted alone

    18:46 June 09 2012

    (AGI) Lecce – Giovanni Vantaggiato, Brindisi bomber, stood before the preliminary investigations magistrate Ines Casciaro and confirmed he acted alone . Vantaggiato also provided proof of the hauling of the bombs from a place in the country near Copertino, where he made them, to the target area. When asked whether his target was the Court or the school in Brindisi, he confirmed it was the Morvillo Falcone high school. However he added it was not in his plans to hurt any of the students attending that school. In his opinion, the school was an easy target to approach and to get away from. All in all, he stated, he felt wronged by Italy’s justice system…

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 11, 2012, 7:59 am

Post a comment