Gladio (of latin gladius for sword) or also Stay Behind organization was the name of a secret organization of NATO, CIA and the British MI6 during the cold war. It existed from approximately 1950 to at least 1990 and extended over Western Europe at that time, Greece and Turkey.

Starting from beginning of the 1950er years in Italy, in addition, in nearly all other Western European countries agents were particularly trained, who should accomplish in the case of an occupation of the respective country by troops Warsaw Treaty of the Guerillaoperationen and sabotage (so-called „stay behind “- operations). For this purpose European-wide secret, illegal weapon depots were put on. The members of Gladio recruited themselves among other things from military special-purpose forces, secret service circles and right-wing extremist, the latter partly with criminal background also National Socialist in the Federal Republic of Germany. In the course of uncovering of Gladio became 1990 admits that parts of the secret armies under co-operation were systematically and purposefully involved in serious acts of terrorism by national organs. The units were dissolved probably after becoming known the operation and the decay of the Soviet Union 1990, for lack of precise official statements are not considered this however not as secured.

The existence of the underground armies was held for a small circle of cabinet members before the population and the parliaments secretly and was in the individual countries only in each case well-known. In the individual countries the recruitment and guidance of the agents were usually transferred by subsections of the respective national secret services, in the Federal Republic of Germany of its own agency of the Federal Information Service. The military command authority had the secret command post Allied Clandestine Committee in NATO headquarters SHAPE in Brussels.

Table of contents

terror as political instrument

1990 uncovered the Italian examining magistrate Felice Casson after searches in archives of the military secret service SISMI the existence of Gladio. It could prove that members of the Italian military secret service SISMI, Neofaschisten and parts of the Gladio network of had committed the 1960ern politically motivated terrorist attacks numerous into the 1980er years and murders in Italy. A network of secretofficial places had provided by spreading of wrong information and falsification of proofs for it that the crimes left-wing extreme terrorist , above all the red brigades ( Lit were assigned.: Hoffmann, 2005) and (Lit.: [1] Ganser, 2004). The proceeding aimed at discrediting the communist party (KPI ), traditionally strong in Italy, and became as strategy of the tension admits. One to today not completely cleared up role played thereby also the Geheimloge propaganda Due under Licio Gelli.

The Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti indicated under the pressure of the following parliamentary investigation that Gladio existed also in numerous other European countries, which released a European-wide political scandal. This led to parliamentary inquiries in several countries. In Italy, Belgium and Switzerland it came to commissions of inquiry.

The European parliament pressed after a debate to 22. November 1990 its sharp protest opposite NATO and the secret services involved out. It stated that „this organization (the Gladio network) had covered secretofficial and armed operations in several member countries of the European Union over 40 years outside of each parliamentary control claimant “that the military secret services of certain countries prove-measured in serious acts of terrorism and criminal activities were complicated “ and that the authors over Gladio would have exerted illegal influence on the internal affairs of numerous European Union states (Lit.: [2] Ganser, 2005, S. 22).

independent investigation

the only landspreading, independent investigation to Gladio was a research project at the ETH Zurich (see Web on the left of). The historian Dr. Daniele Ganser wrote over the results (Lit.: [1] Ganser, 2004):

„The Stay behind armies were unknown to the people, the parliament and most cabinet members and formed in completely Western Europe an invisible, coordinated, secret safety net. In some countries, but not in all, the safety nets mutated however also to terror cells. (...) Washington, London and the Italian military secret service feared that the introduction of the communists could weaken NATO from the inside out into (Italian) the government. In order to prevent this, the people was manipulated: Right-wing extremists terrorists implemented notices, these by falsified traces the political opponent were charged, on which the people required more monitoring for more police, fewer liberty rights and by the intelligence services. “

On the web page of the research project a multiplicity of documents in the original, among them the reports of the commission of inquiry are observable (see Web on the left of). The research results flowed into the book „NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe “(Lit.: [2] Ganser, 2005), which can be considered as only comprehensive written documentation to Gladio (2005). A short version of the results is in the article „and her terror “Swiss daily paper to NATO secret armies „the federation “(Lit.: [1] Ganser, 2004), a representation in more detail supplies the 28-seitige article „Terrorism to Western Europe: At Approach ton of NATO' s Secret Stay Behind Armies from the magazine „The Whitehead journal OF Diplomacy and international relation “(Lit.: [3] Ganser, 2005).

The publication of the research results in the year 2004 was cause for numerous press articles (see Web on the left of), among other things in „the new inhabitants of zurich newspaper “(NZZ) and in „the mirror “.

local Gladiooperationen to countries


in Italy was meant the employment from Gladio also for the possible case of a democratic government assumption by the communist party of Italy, which was temporarily the strongest party in the Italian parliament.

Members of the Italian military secret service SISMI, Neofaschisten and parts of the Gladio network were in the 1960er, 1970er and 1980er years authors of numerous terrorist attacks in Italy, which were assigned by official side by falsification of evidence radically left-wing groups of terror, above all the red brigades. By the indignation of the public about the notices the communist party traditionally strong in Italy should be weakened. This already represented the high point of one into the 1950er years with the covered operation Demagnetize of the CIA strategy begun. In this connection also the connection to the Geheimloge propaganda Due (P2 ), determined in legal proceedings, is relevant. The Gladio and Ordine Nuovo condemned because of murder - member Vincenzo Vinciguerra coined/shaped the term strategy of the tension for the common strategy behind the crimes (see quotations).

One of the worst terrorist attacks was the bomb attack on the main station of Bologna with 85 dead ones and 200 hurt in the year 1980. The right-extremist Gladio and Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari - members Giusva Fioravanti and Francesca Mambro were placed and condemned 1995 for this act before court (Lit.: Hoffmann, 2005). The red brigades were for its part of Gladio members infiltrated, among other things according to an investigation of the Italian parliament in person of the paratrooper Francesco Marra. There are referring to a participation of Gladio members in the kidnapping and murder of Italian leading politician Aldo Moro in this connection, see in addition likewise red brigades.


an involving of Gladio members into the bomb attack on Munich Octoberfests the 1980 is not proven, however after newer research results by the determinations at that time of the public prosecutor's office is suggested (Lit.: [3] Ganser, 2005, S. 13, dearer ones, 2005, S. 3).

Raymund Hörnle and Sibylle Vorderbrügge, both members of the suspects group of weir havens Hoffmann, had already stated one day after the Octoberfest assassination attempt that the right-wing extremist Heinz Lembke had offered weapons, explosive and ammunition to them and had told of extensive weapon depots. The public prosecutor's office followed to this reference however only, when forest workers discovered a scarce year later by accident one of the depots. Lembke revealed the situation of its 33 illegal weapon and explosive depots, whose discovery found a broad medium echo with Uelzen in the Lüneburger heath 1981 in the remand centre: They contained among other things automatic weapons, 14,000 shot ammunition, of 50 Panzerfäuste, 156 kg explosive and 258 hand grenades (Lit.: [3] Ganser, 2005, S. 13). The quantity and quality of the found military equipment point according to Daniele Ganser on a connection Lembkes to Gladio. This was not clarified however, there Lembke at the 1. November 1981, one day before its hearing by a public prosecutor, erhängt in its prison cell was found (Lit.: [3] Ganser, 2005, S. 14). He had announced before to make extensive declarations over its backers. The determinations in this direction were stopped soon after its death and represented Lembke as a loner, who had put on the weapon depots due to its fear of a Soviet invasion. The connections to the Octoberfest assassination attempt were pursued after its death not, it continued to remain official with the thesis by the single complicity Gundolf of charcoal burner.

The SPD - Member of the Bundestag and chairman of the right sow shot Herta Däubler Gmelin asked a parliamentary inquiry to 1981 over the connections between the case Lembke and the Octoberfest assassination attempt. The answer of Andreas's von Schoeler, at that time undersecretary of state in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, was: „There is not a connection “(Lit.: [3] Ganser, 2005, S. 14).

The former Federal Intelligence Service - coworker Norbert Juretzko describes 2004 in his book published „conditionally serve ready “details his work with the structure and receipt of the German „Stay Behind “ of network.


major item: P-26

in Switzerland existed a secret army, which was merged into the Gladio network until at least 1990. It was created under the cover name P-26 (project 26), maintained secret weapon camps, and trained Swiss military member as Geruilliakämpfern.

The existence of P-26 was uncovered 1990 of the parliamentary Untersuchungskommision (PUK-EMD) to the Fichenaffäre. An important witness, lieutenant colonel Herbert Alboth to hand member over of the P-26, which had assured, all it well-known information and documents about P-26 of the Kommision was murdered briefly before his statement. It found in its Bernese dwelling with its own bayonet erstochen.

The report of the commission (Cornu report) is classified, and only shortened is published, there befürtet until today as secret that the publication of the entire report would endanger „the good relations of Switzerland with other states “. Many details over P-26 are today unknown or very questionable therefore until.

official representation and investigations

of the population Gladio became known for the first time, as the Italian Prime Minister at that time Giulio Andreotti at the 3. August 1990 in the context of a parliamentary inquiry publicly the existence also one „operation Gladio “of the military secret service SISMI confirmed. In the October of the same yearly it admitted under the pressure of the letters from the red brigades kidnapped and murdered politician of the Aldo Moro come to the public that the operation Gladio, against its original statements, ran still into the late 70's and that NATO was considerably involved in the illegal operation (Lit.: [1] Ganser, 2004).

A set of Dementis of the governments of other European countries followed. In Switzerland, Belgium and Italy at the beginning of the 90's parliamentary investigations took place to Gladio.

Germany -In Germany the SPD showed initially active interest in a clearing-up. This died down rapidly, when it became clear that during a thorough processing also former SPD cabinet members under pressure would be guessed/advised the affair. Therefore only the Greens asked a parliamentary inquiry. The Federal Government answered in a general manner ambiguous that you would not be present any knowledge of current activities of Gladio in Germany and/or. that these at the latest 1972 were adjusted.

Switzerland -In Switzerland in November 1990 an extensive investigation was published over stay behind the secret army P-26. Subsequently, Swiss parliamentarians wanted to know whether Swiss stay behind secret army P-26 was like that as the Italian secret army Gladio a part of the NATO network. The investigation report over the relations of the P26 with the foreign country (“Cornu report “) was published only in shortened version. The complete version is today secret until, because the publication would endanger “the good relations of Switzerland with other states”. Swiss lieutenant colonel Herbert Alboth, member of the secret army, had announced 1990 before the parliamentary commission of inquiry that he wanted to hand all over his documents and information about the P-26 (Swiss Gladio group). Before its statement he was found short to dwelling murdered in its Bernese, erstochen with its own army bayonet (Lit.: Ramseyer, 2004).

It is not today well-known until whether Gladio was completely adjusted after the end of the cold war and which happened with the stored equipment.


one had civilians to attack, men, women, children, innocent humans, unknown humans, who were far away from the political play. The reason for it was simple. The notices should bring the Italian people to ask the state for larger security. This political logic is appropriate all for the massacres and terrorist attacks to reason, which remain without judicial judgement, because the state cannot condemn itself.

Vincenzo Vinciguerra, 1990 because of murder at three Carabinieri condemned right-wing extremist and Gladio member (Lit.: [1] Ganser, 2004)

long one I fought in order to finally experience, who or which (assassin) it were real. I had to learn however that one will never give me to it an honest answer. (...) I made the experience that one in-acts only annoyance, if one insistiert.

Ignaz burst, father of two small children, who died together with eleven further humans with the bomb assassination attempt on Munich Octoberfests the 1980. Source: South German newspaper, Munich, 27. September 1996, S.

Went to 39 I into the prison, because I did not want to reveal the existence of this super+secret organization. And now Andreotti comes and tells it to the parliament!

General Vito Miceli, former boss of the Italian military secret service Servizio Informazioni Difesa and NATO functionary, after the Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti had confirmed publicly the existence of Gladio. Source: Italian magazine „Europeo “, 16. November 1990, quotes out (Lit.: [4] Ganser, 2005, S. 9)

Terror is suitable more than any other military strategy for manipulating the population.

Dr. Daniele Ganser, historian and Gladio researcher (source: The European, Jg. 9/No. 6/April 2005)


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