“Fascists are the subordinate element of more cohesive and powerful forces.”
After watching the Italian film about the kidnapping of Italian politician Aldo Moro–Good Morning, Night–some bizarre features about the case led me to this book: Stefano Delle Chiaie: Portrait of a Black Terrorist by Stuart Christie. While the name of terrorist Carlos the Jackal was practically a household word for several decades, somehow or another the name Stefano Delle Chiaie seems to have stayed under the radar. When one considers all that is known–as well as all that is speculated about the terrorist career of Delle Chiaie, it’s both remarkable and bizarre that he’s managed to stay so anonymous. Author Stuart Christie’s book is a focused, relevant, well-documented and intense study of Delle Chiaie’s terrorist, neo-fascist career.
Stefano Delle Chiaie also known as “Il Caccola” (Shorty) was born in 1936 into a “staunchly pro-fascist” household. By the time he was 20, he was the secretary of the local neo-fascist party, MSI, but soon moved on to the more radical Ordine Nuovo–a group that shared the same motto with the Nazi SS: “Our Honour is our loyalty.” Delle Chiaie then in 1960 founded his own neo-fascist organization “Avanguardia Nazionale”–the “cudgel of black extremism” notorious for “stringent internal discipline.”
Working with fascist elements within the police force, the government, and Italian military intelligence (SIFAR), Delle Chiaie and the Avanguardia Nazionale built a “national and international clandestine neo-fascist infrastructure” which operated for over twenty years. One of the organisation’s aims was to establish a “Strategy of Tension” in Italy which would create such a degree of “social disruption” that the Italian people would be swayed into approving the “installation of a strong-arm government pledged to restore ‘order’.” Delle Chiaie’s operatives achieved their goal of creating a “climate of chaos” by infiltrating communist and anarchist groups, committing terrorist acts and then ensuring that the blame was lodged on those groups. The book includes many black and white photos of Delle Chiaie’s shape shifting operatives acting as agent provocateurs while working undercover initially within communist groups and then moving on into the Maoist (Marxist-Leninist) and anarchist movements. Christie also analyzes the mysterious death of anarchist Pinelli who ‘fell’ from a window during a police interrogation. At the time anarchists were accused of the bombings in the Piazza Fontana, Milan on December 12, 1969–an incident Delle Chiaie was later extradited, tried, and acquitted for.
The book also includes information about Delle Chiaie’s international activities. When Italy became too uncomfortable for him, he moved his operation to Franco’s Spain and then Latin America. Here he participated in various ‘dirty wars’ including Operation Condor, and the book discusses his known involvement with many international assassinations, massacres, and coup d’etats. Speculation about other suspected activities is pieced together by formerly secret documents, and internal memos while tracking Delle Chiaie’s whereabouts at the times of nefarious actions–he manages to pop up at various suspicious locations. Also covered is information regarding the Serpieri Report (conveniently buried by the Italian Secret Service), P2, The Rose of the Winds organization, and Operation Gladio. Reading this book about the shadowy career of a terrorist puppet master is a revelation for those interested in subversive political operations, and with a splendid understanding and superb definition of fascism, the author shows clearly how fascism can be utilized for nefarious purposes within a society’s infrastructure.