November 01, 2009

The BNP and terrorism

This article was submitted by one of our readers, Roddy Newman. We welcome any contributions from our supporters (as long as those contributions conform to the law and are in reasonably good taste). Please send your articles to us via email.

After 9/11, BNP leader Nick Griffin started moralising about Islamist terrorism, and pretended that the BNP was a mainstream political party like the big 3 parties, UKIP, and the Greens, but as I will explain in this article, the BNP has had links to fascist terrorists, while the five other parties have not. Moreover, as I will also explain in this article, Nick Griffin supported Iranian dictator Ayatollah Khomeini's terrorist regime during his period in the International Third Position group, who saw Khomeini's Iran, and Libyan dictator Colonel Gadaffi's terrorist regime, as a "Third Way" which was not "Jewish-controlled capitalism", or "Jewish-controlled communism".

The most notorious BNP linked former terrorist, is of course the London nail bomber, David Copeland, whose 3 bombs killed 3 and injured 139. Copeland had been a member of the BNP before he carried out his bombings, and he openly said that his bombs were designed to create a race war which would encourage white British people to vote BNP (one bomb went off in the primarily African-Caribbean Brixton area, and one in the primarily Asian Brick Lane area). The third went off in a Soho gay bar. See the June 30, 2000 BBC News online article, "Profile: Copeland the killer", to learn more about Copeland and his bombings.

Another BBC News online article, "Ex-BNP man jailed over chemicals" (July 31, 2007), discussed a second BNP former terrorist, Robert Cottage [pictured left], who stored bomb-making chemicals at his home, because he expected that immigration would lead to a civil war. A YouTube film, "BNP terrorist Robert Cottage", which is a clip from a Sky News report about his bomb-making hoard, mentions his involvement with the BNP, for whom he stood as a local election candidate 3 times.

A third BNP former terrorist, former BNP Propaganda Officer and Group Development Officer Tony Lecomber, who was taking a nail bomb to the headquarters of a left wing group when it went off in his car, was discussed in an article in "Searchlight", which is Britain's leading anti-fascist magazine, "Sacked terrorist ran BNP election campaign" (September 2006), and in a YouTube film, "BNP nail-bomber Tony Lecomber", which is a clip from a BBC "Panorama" documentary, "Under the Skin", which was originally broadcast on November 25, 2000.

The "Searchlight" magazine, which all 3 of the big political parties have asked for advice on how to defeat BNP candidates in elections, have discussed a number of other BNP former terrorists in their articles. In their November 2005 article, "Right-wing terrorism still alive and plotting", you can read about David Tovey, a BNP member who was caught with military plastic explosive, and remote control devices to set it off, and in March 2007's "AWB terrorist finds home in the BNP", you can read about Lambertus Nieuwhof, a white South African former terrorist who has joined the BNP, and who has created a number of its websites - for example, the website of the BNP's Barking and Dagenham branch, and the website of its Solidarity trades union.

As a March 31, 2007 article in "The Guardian" ("BNP activist took part in terror campaign") revealed, Nieuwhof planted a 25 kg bomb in a South African multiracial school, which thankfully failed to explode.

If Nieuwhof was a non-white, South African Islamist former terrorist, rather than a white South African former terrorist, there would no doubt have been critical stories in various national newspapers about his presence in Britain, but so far, only "The Guardian", and "The Independent" ("Johann Hari: The looming threat of terror that comes from the far right", October 14, 2009) have written about him.

Johann Hari's article, which was reprinted in "The Belfast Telegraph" under a slightly different title ("Johann Hari: UK faces looming threat of terror from 'neo-Nazis' out to kill black people, Jews and gays"), perhaps because that city is much more concerned about white terrorists than the mainland UK is, for obvious reasons, discusses several British fascist former terrorists, including David Copeland and Tony Lecomber.

The YouTube video "Lambertus Nieuwhof and the Afrikaner Resistance Movement", is a short clip from "His Big White Self", a 2006 Nick Broomfield TV documentary about the Afrikaaner Resistance Movement white South African terrorist group, who, as the film explains, set off about 120 bombs in the 1992 to 1994 period, to try to stop the transition to black majority rule. Broomfield made another TV documentary about the same terrorist group in 1991, "The Leader, His Driver, and the Driver's Wife". Both of the documentaries have now been released on DVD.

On a "Searchlight" HOPE not hate webpage, "The real BNP: The terrorist links", you can read about yet another BNP related former terrorist, BNP supporter Allen Boyce, who was given a 2 year suspended jail sentence after he passed bomb making instructions to a BNP activist, Terry Collins.

As I will now explain, even Nick Griffin himself has past terrorist links, as he is linked to an Italian fascist former terrorist who was convicted in absentia for being a member of an Italian fascist terrorist group. As I will now explain as well, Griffin also once backed 2 regimes which funded terrorist groups, and was allegedly once a "close ally" of a pro-terrorism American fascist party leader.

The Italian fascist former terrorist who Griffin is linked to, is Roberto Fiore, who fled Italy and made his home in Britain after the August 2, 1980 Bologna train station bombing (which killed 85, and injured more than 200), because his fascist terrorist group, the Armed Revolutionary Nuclei, were responsible for what is known in Italy as "The Bologna massacre". See 3 online articles, "Italy:Terror on the Right" ("New York Review of Books", January 22, 1981, Volume 27, Numbers 21 and 22), "Roberto Fiore: from terrorist to entrepreneur...and back again" ("Searchlight", July 1998), and the "Searchlight" HOPE not hate website's "Nick Griffin, BNP leader" (December 2008) to learn more about Fiore, the Armed Revoloutionary Nuclei, and the Bologna massacre.

Most people would no doubt assume that Nick Griffin, who moralises about Islamist terrorism, would have had nothing to do with a former terrorist like Fiore when he fled to Britain, but of course if you did assume that, you would be wrong, because Griffin has in the past said one thing to the general public, and a different thing to his own people. Griffin tells the general public that the BNP is now a moderate mainstream political party, but in a YouTube film of a Griffin speech, which has been posted under the title "BNP MEP Nick Griffin + KKK Terrorist", Griffin tells an American far right audience that he is merely repackaging his unchanged far right ideas to make them more acceptable to the British general public.

It is thus not surprising that Fiore is the political mentor and friend of Griffin, as a "Searchlight" article, "Nick Griffin political extremist and veteran splitter" (February 2008) pointed out, and that Fiore has financially supported Griffin, as a second "Searchlight" article, "BNP deputy leader addresses international fascist rally" (April 5, 2009) explained. It is thus also not surprising that Griffin used to be Fiore's business partner, as a third "Searchlight" article, "No beer, no bands, no fun" (September 2009) revealed, that Griffin and Fiore once shared a flat together, as a February 29, 2008 article in "The Guardian" ("Language school run by Italian fascist leader") stated, and that Fiore spoke at the BNP's Red, White and Blue Festival in August 2009, as an August 16 story in "The Times", "Convicted Italian fascist Roberto Fiore addresses BNP followers in Derbyshire" noted. Nor is it surprising that in a YouTube video which has been posted under the title "Nick Griffin and Christianity (BNP)", you can hear Griffin praising Fiore as "charismatic" and "magnetic".

If you know about the dirty secrets of the Italian fascist scene which the "charismatic" and "magnetic" Fiore emerged from, then you will also know that those dirty secrets make it extremely hypocritical for the BNP to moralise about terrorism. The Bologna bombing was initially blamed on an accident or the communist Red Brigades terrorist group, but it soon became clear that the fascist Armed Revoloutionary Nuclei had carried out the bombing, which was presumably designed to weaken support for the large Italian Communist Party, as Bologna was one of its strongholds.

The Italian Parliament's 13 year Slaughter Commission, which was investigating the Bologna massacre, and a series of other murderous "communist" and "anarchist" bombings in Italy in the 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's (hence its 'Slaughter Commission' name), concluded that the American CIA, and the Italian elite Masonic lodge P2, which included senior figures in the Italian Parliament, armed forces, secret services, and police forces, were responsible for the bombings, which it is now known were carried out by fascists to create public support for a fascist military coup.

On page 110 of David Yallop's book, "In God's Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I" (Constable and Robinson, London, 2007), which has sold over 6 million copies around the world, and which is about the theory that P2 poisoned and murdered Pope John Paul I, because he was about to throw Freemasons out of the Vatican, Yallop mentions the fact that Italian former fascist terrorist Elio Ciolini, who had allegedly been a follower of P2's fascist Grand Master, Licio Gelli, had alleged that the Bologna bombing was planned at a P2 meeting in Monte Carlo on April 11, 1980.

Bologna was a well known stronghold of the Communist Party, so why would a communist terrorist group bomb the second class passengers' waiting room at its Central Station? Communists have historically got most of their support from working class people, who were probably the majority of the people in the second class waiting room on the morning of August 2, 1980. It is equally unlikely that anarchists, who have historically got most of their support from peasant and working class people, should have perpetrated the bombings which they were initially accused of in Italy, as those terrorist atrocities killed or injured many working class people.

Italian judge Guido Salvini indicted US Navy officer David Carrett as a suspect in a December 12, 1969 "anarchist" bombing of Milan's Piazza Fontana (Fontana Square), which killed 16, and injured 90, and which an Italian former fascist terrorist, Vincenzo Vinciguerra, has said was the work of fascist terrorists, and, although it should be pointed out that Carrett has never even been tried, never mind convicted for carrying out that bombing, it should also be pointed out if Salvini was indicting a US Navy officer as a Piazza Fontana suspect, it is hardly likely that anarchists were responsible for the atrocity.

The Piazza Fontana bombing also led to another death, that of Giuseppe Pinelli, an entirely innocent Italian anarchist railway worker, who "fell" to his death from the fourth floor of a Milan police station while he was being interrogated about his non-existent role in the bombing. Pinelli's death inspired Dario Fo's famous 1970 play, "Accidental Death of an Anarchist", which was broadcast on Channel 4 in 1983, and which has been performed in various British theatres in London, Birmingham, and other places.

Fiore's friend, political pupil, and former financial benefactor and business partner Nick Griffin, was also once a fan of 2 regimes which fund, or did fund terrorism (Colonel Gadaffi's Libya, and Iran's Islamist theocracy). A BBC News webpage, "Nick Griffin: Right wing chameleon" (June 29, 2001), explains how Griffin went to Libya to ask Colonel Gadaffi for funds for the National Front, which Griffin was then a member of. That visit is also discussed in a YouTube video, "Nick Griffin supports Muslim Extremism", which is a clip from an already mentioned BBC "Panorama" documentary, "Under the Skin". The "Panorama" documentary clip includes a photograph of Griffin in Libya, whose regime paid for his trip to Tripoli, as a "Searchlight" anti-BNP webpage which also includes that photo explains.

That webpage also mentions the fact that the "political soldier" wing of the NF, which Griffin created, as an already mentioned "Searchlight" article, "Nick Griffin political extremist and veteran splitter" (February 2008) pointed out, had been paying visits to the "Libyan People's Bureau" (the Libyan Embassy) in London, and had been expressing support for Colonel Gadaffi's Libya, so it is not surprising that the Libyan regime arranged an all expenses paid trip to Tripoli for Griffin. Colonel Gadaffi's Libya used to fund a number of terrorist groups of course, including the IRA.

The just mentioned "Searchlight" Stop the BNP webpage, and the previously mentioned "Searchlight" article, also refer to Nick Griffin's past support for Iran's Islamist theocracy, which has long funded Islamist terrorism (for example, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas), so Griffin's past support for that regime is as hypocritical as his links to Fiore, and as his past links to Colonel Gadaffi's Libya.

Whether you believe the original theory that Ayatollah Khomeini's Iran paid Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to carry out the Lockerbie bombing, to avenge the deaths of 290 Iranian pilgrims returning from Mecca, whose Iran Air Flight 655 airliner had been shot out of the sky by accident by the US Navy warship the USS Vincennes, or whether you believe the post 1991 Gulf War theory that Colonel Gadaffi's Libya was responsible (when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, Iran was needed for the anti-Iraq coalition, so some writers, like the late Paul Foot of "Private Eye", have alleged that American and British intelligence agencies started to point the finger at Libya so Iran could become part of the anti-Iraq coalition), Nick Griffin backed the regime which was responsible for the worst terrorist atrocity in British history.

That atrocity killed all of the 243 passengers and 16 crew on board Pan Am Flight 103, as well as 11 people in the village of Lockerbie, because the plane's nearly full fuel tanks (and wings) fell on their homes and exploded.

9/11 created a "Who should we hate now?" moment for Europe's far-right, as a "Searchlight" article, "International far-right reactions to the terrorist attacks on the USA" (October 2001) showed, because some of Europe's far-right continued to primarily hate Jewish people, and what they saw as the USA's "Zionist Occupation Government", which led to them applauding the 9/11 attacks, while the rest of Europe's far-right, including Nick Griffin, switched to primarily hating Muslim people, which is why Griffin used the attacks as an excuse to begin hypocritically moralising about Islamist terrorism.

Griffin was also allegedly a "close ally" of a pro-terrorism American fascist party (National Alliance) leader, the late William Pierce, who openly advocated killing all of the world's non-white and Jewish people with nuclear weapons, and the use of terrorist violence to kill such people. See my September 13th Lancaster Unity article, "Do the BNP and EFP leadership still believe in the mass slaughter of billions?", to learn more about Pierce's pro-global genocide views, and about Griffin allegedly being a "close ally" of his.

Of course, other British fascist groups have terrorist links, which is why "The Guardian" of December 13, 2008 featured a story called "Racist who had bomb kit jailed for campaign against couple", which discussed Nathan Worrell, a British People's Party, Ku Klux Klan, and November 9 Society terrorist, and which is why another article in the same newspaper, "Neo-Nazi convicted of planning terrorist bombing campaign" (July 15, 2009), discussed Neil Lewington, who was found by police to have 2 home made bombs, and fascist (Ku Klux Klan and Combat 18) literature, as well a video about the ex-BNP nail bomber David Copeland. A YouTube video, "BNP + Nazi terrorist Nathan Worrell", includes film of the BNP stickers which were found at Worrell's home. Another YouTube video, "Nazi terrorist Neil Lewington", is a BBC News clip about that fascist would-be bomber.

A third non-BNP fascist terrorist, Martyn Gilleard, was the subject of a BBC News online article, "Man jailed over nail bombs plot" (June 25, 2008). Police found 4 home-made nail bombs at his home, as well as bullets, swords, and axes (and 39,000 child pornography images). A second BBC News online article, "Neo-Nazi had child abuse images" (June 25, 2008), states that: "At the time of his arrest he [Gilleard] was a paid-up member of the National Front, the White Nationalist Party, and the British People's Party...".

Andrew Wells and Ian Hindle
Gilleard's British People's Party membership is also mentioned in a YouTube film, "BNP and NF Pedos Martyn Gilleard, Roderick Rowley, Ian Hindle + Andrew Wells", which is a clip from a Channel 4 News report. The report only discusses Gilleard, but the "more info" information on the right hand side of the page when the video is playing, mentions former BNP election candidate Roderick Rowley's child pornography conviction, and the child sexual abuse convictions of BNP members Ian Hindle and Andrew Wells, which were exposed after the BNP's membership list was posted online in 2008.

Despite the existence of non-BNP British fascist former terrorists, the BNP are the largest British fascist party, so it is no surprise that they seem to attract the most terrorists, and it is also no surprise that even the non-BNP terrorists Nathan Worrell and Neil Lewington had BNP stickers, or a video about an ex-BNP former terrorist at their homes.

The BNP may even attract more terrorists than other countries' fascist parties, because "Searchlight" has foreign readers who write articles for them about fascism in other countries, but that magazine has primarily featured BNP-linked terrorists in its articles, which have included: "Belgium: Arrested nazi terrorists included soldiers" (October 2006); "Italy - An endless cycle of terror" (May 2002); "Portrait of a bomber" (February 2001), which was about a terrorist bombing that was carried out by a member of the New Force party (whose leader is a certain Roberto Fiore, who, in 1999, was allowed to return to Italy, where he became a fascist MEP); and "Unmasking the Anti Anti-Fa" (May 2000), which mentions German fascist terrorism.

See Martin Lee's book, "The Beast Reawakens: The Chilling Story of the Rise of the Neo-Nazi Movement" (Warner Books, London, 1998), to learn more about modern fascist terrorism in Italy, Germany, and Belgium.

Perhaps not even an American fascist party has attracted as many terrorists as the BNP, despite that country's size. See my already mentioned September 13th Lancaster Unity article, "Do the BNP and EFP leadership still believe in the mass slaughter of billions?", to read about various American fascist terrorists, who, like the ex-BNP London nail bomber David Copeland, were inspired by the genocidal ideas of the late National Alliance leader William Pierce.

A YouTube video, "BNP + Nazi Terrorism", which is a clip from a BBC documentary, "Panorama Special - The Nailbomber", which was originally broadcast on June 30, 2000, discusses David Copeland's [pictured left] involvement with the BNP, and his admission that his bombings were inspired by "The Turner Diaries", which the documentary said was "sold through BNP magazines". So much for the supposedly mainstream BNP. Do the big 3 parties, UKIP, or the Greens sell novels through their party magazines in which billions of people are exterminated with nuclear weapons?

In reality, like other totalitarian organisations, the BNP is a haven for psychopaths and other dangerous individuals, and has nothing to do with mainstream politics.

Another BNP type fascist group which is a haven for psychopaths and other dangerous individuals, the even more extreme National Socialist Movement, has a tiny past and present membership which includes 3 men who are serving life sentences for murders, London nail bomber David Copeland, Charlie Sargent, and Martin Cross, so it is no surprise that the BNP has had to ban convicted criminals from standing in elections, because anti-fascists had been able to use their leaflets to point to the numerous BNP candidates with convictions for terrorist offences, racist violence, gang rape, child sexual abuse, football hooliganism, and other violent crimes.

The NSM were profiled in an already-mentioned BBC documentary, "Panorama Special: The Nailbomber". They are not to be confused with a different National Socialist Movement of the past, whose members included a certain Andrew Brons, who is now the BNP MEP for Yorkshire and Humberside. While the previous NSM did not spawn any terrorists, it did spawn some arsonists, as a "Searchlight" HOPE not hate webpage, "The real BNP: Andrew Brons" explains. It states: "NSM members were responsible for an arson campaign against Jewish property and synagogues in the 1960's."

"Brons appears to have approved. In a [garbled] letter to [hardline fascist Colin] Jordan's wife, Brons reported meeting an NSM member who "mentioned such activities as bombing synagogues." He declared: "On this subject I have a dual view, in that I realise that he is well intentioned, I feel that our public image may suffer considerable damage as a result of these activities. I am however open to correction on this point.""

Like BNP founder John Tyndall, Colin Jordan was a disciple of the pre-World War Two Imperial Fascist League leader Arnold Leese, who advocated gassing Jews before the Nazis (in 1936).

Because British fascists are at least partly responsible for far more racist violence than fascists in any other Western European country, as an official European Union report which you can download here shows (in England and Wales, there are several times more racist crimes each year than in Germany, which has a roughly 30% bigger population than England and Wales), it is hardly surprising that the BNP appear to attract more terrorists than any other fascist party on the planet. As an April 22, 2009 EU Business article which you can read here explains, a survey has revealed that the true level of racist violence in the EU, is far higher than the level in official government statistics, which makes it even less surprising that the BNP attracts so many terrorists.


Reader said...

Wow. Long article. Interesting though.

Roz said...

You used an awful lot of words there but I think if you left out all the supporting evidence and references,the whole thing could be condensed into a couple of lines

"In reality, like other totalitarian organisations, the BNP is a haven for psychopaths and other dangerous individuals, and has nothing to do with mainstream politics."

That just about says it all.

Anonymous said...

Superb article. The bnps links with terrorism are very worrying. I know that there are stewards and security employed by the larger security firms (like the ones who do shows and events) who are bnp supporters and members to.

NewsHound said...



bill said...

Re: The EDL -

There has been a glut of "angry white man movies" which feed into the psyche of disaffected white communities, giving bored young would-be football hooligans the chance to becone somebody.

The days of socially progressive cinema given mass appeal have sadly died. Schindlers List, Kes, Cry Freedom, and My Beautiful Laundrette have been replaced with Fightclub, the Football Factory and The Firm.

Leftfield, positive social message movies are still made but they have been sadly relegated to art house screens watched by film students and one man and his dog.

? said...

The BNP are yesterdays spent condom. The EDL are tommorows dangerous street fighting force full of spunk.

The NF comparison used by many is valid but not the whole script.

The EDLs army of experiened nationalistic street fighters and pups gives the thrills and spills of real violent combat without the bodybags of Afganistan.

Whereas the old farts of the BNP in suits hand out leaflets in rain to granny voters but the EDL are hands on in making their presence felt in the UKs larger cities such as Leeds Glasgow Birmingham Nottingham Manchester Cardiff and Glasgow but the marches are merely for camerarderie and publicity purposes.

In mid december some topdogs and pups will go a semester to Ulster to train the pups into the real thing using real hardware under the noses of all the snoops.

If they are not flushed out and NI type violence appears on the streets of England in the form of an underground army bizzare as it sounds the aim is to force the british government into a powersharing peacedeal like the sort of thing that led to Sinn Fein and fringe loyalist groups coming to power.

Thus the EDL would bomb and shoot their way into parliament and a position of power in the Brtish Establishment, something that even Guy Fawkes let alone the BNP were not able to do.

Anonymous said...

Very good, well researcged article on the terrorist links of Nick Griffin and the BNP.

Don't forget too that Patrick Harrington of Solidarity and the National Liberals also accompanied Griffin on his ill-fated trip to Libya to beg for funds from the terrorist leader, Gaddafi.

Jon said...

Green Arrow bad-mouths British Muslim soldiers: -

Anonymous said...

Great in depth article, sorry to go off topic but here a link to a totally depressing article on the BNPs campaign in North Glasgow. Shame on the G1 Group for not tossing the scum out of the pub when it became apparent who they were.

NewsHound said...


NewsHound said...


acaustiq said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NewsHound said...


BoyBee said...

One of the most sickening English white nationalist forums is called, where the administrators call British black people "racist" for describing themselves AS English, and mixed-raced people as race-destroying non-humans: -

This is where the novice EDL supporters are hanging out to learn their white supremacism: -

Who runs this vile hardline white supremacist website? Is it run by the BNP and their friends, or someone else?

jimbobb said...

I read something really disturbing from a Leeds United fan on the Leeds Music Forum: -

There was a sizeable number of EDL thugs at the Leeds United game, and the police were allowing EDL fans to leave the City Square Kettle if they showed a Leeds United ticket.

Apparently there is now lots of racist abuse at the Leeds United games that stewards and matchday police are turning a sickening blind eye to.

Leeds United has had NF and Combat18 connections, which was why they chose Leeds to meet. Whereever they decide to march, they rely on a local base of far right football hooligans, which is why they have chosen Glasgow with its loyalist BNP-supporting football hooligans.

Has anyone else who follows leeds United come across a rising amount of vocal racism at Elland Road??????

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Another BNP activist with suspicious ties to state security appartus is Arthur Kemp once compiled a list of targets for a right-wing bombing campaign in South Africa.

purcells said...

All the talk of the EDL being trained in terror methods would not surprise me, as there is far more than meets the eye to the EDL. There's a hundred and one conspiracy theories about state sponsorship doing the rounds, with even the BNP getting in on the act.

Lake's involvement is peculiar, judging that his money is going into helping subsidise a bunch of hooligans to tour the UK, which is a far less stable investment than funding the "Griffo Back Pocket Wallet Fund"!

Anonymous said...

Ive come across that English nationalist Aryan supremacist site also, called Up England, the one where they call white Anglo-Saxans "Englisc", for some unknown reason.

Dont no who runs it though.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Collet say his hero was UDA terrorist Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair(who's now done a runner due to in fighting and now in Scotland) in the infamous channel 4 doc?

Anonymous said...

Sheffield BNP are linked into the UDA through the Howard clan

Anonymous said...

Как говорилось на Девочки, подскажите, пожалуйста, как можно притупить зубную боль. Вчера разболелся запломбированный зуб. пломбировала год назад. Я полоскала его содой - не может помочь, пила спазмолгон - эффект временный. К врачу до понедельника пойти нет вполне вероятности

Anonymous said...

You should investigate more about Elio Ciolini ("depistaggio"...)

This ultra-right activist has been active in Bolivia, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Belgium.

People outside Belgium do generally not know what he did there.

Here is an article from a Belgian newspapare in 1996.

(original article in Dutch)

Belgium: Prosecutors want 2 year sentence for CIA man

Brussels prosecutors have demanded that Elio Ciolini, a CIA agent who was active in Belgium between 1985 and 1991 and is now being tried in his absence after escaping from an Italian jail, should receive two years imprisonment for a series of crimes he allegedly committed during his time in the country. Ciolini operated in Belgium at the high point of the "Nijvel" gang murders. He was also linked to other organised crime gangs in Belgium, as well as operating within far-right circles.

Ciolini first appeared in Belgium during the latter part of 1985, which happened to be roughly the period when the "Nijvel" gang, since allegedly linked to the Gladio project, were robbing warehouses on Overijse, Eigenbrakel and Aalst. The robberies led to the deaths of more than 15 people in what has since become known as the Brabant massacres. He was then introduced to far-right circles in Brussels through the businessman Robert Wellens.

Using these contacts Ciolini founded a number of small companies dealing in everything from arms to personal security. He quickly developed contacts with the Belgian underworld, in particular with a Thierry Smars, a member of the Haemers gang. Smars who was later found dead in mysterious circumstances, was alleged by the magazine Humo to have been recruited by Ciolini to membership of the Spanish anti-Basque death squads.

After his name had started to appear frequently during the Haemers trial the Justice department decided to interrogate Ciolini whilst he was in prison in Italy. During questioning Ciolini freely admitted that he was an agent for the CIA and that his companies were nothing more than a front for espionage.

Although most of his activities were known to the Belgian authorities since 1986, it took a remarkably long time for any decisive action to be taken against Ciolini. It appears that some pressure was exerted on the Justice department to drop the enquiry but they decided to proceed with the case just before the statute of limitations would have saved him from prosecution.

According to the De Morgen newspaper Ciolini was involved in far-right politics since the seventies. They claim that he was a member of the so-called "Black International" which was active in Spain, Italy, Bolivia and Belgium in the late seventies and early Eighties. He is supposed to have taken part in a meeting of far-right activists in Madrid in 1982 where they plotted to murder Alexander Haig, then Secretary-General of NATO, as well as Francois Mitterand. He was then involved in Bolivian death-squads. Later on he is alleged to have accused the "P2" lodge of being behind the Bologna bombing in which 80 people died. He was in jail in Italy waiting to tried for providing false information following this accusation when he mysteriously vanished from his cell. He has not been seen since.

De Morgen 26.9.96.