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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

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