Italy | 11/23/2022

Italy 2022 November

Between threats of government terror and those of neo-fascist terrorism

A big rave organized in northern Italy, in a warehouse near Modena, has been the first opportunity for far-right Giorgia Meloni’s government to show the iron fist against abusive music rallies, proposing a new criminal law with up to six years of prison as a penalty for the organizers. Such a conviction is obviously disproportionate if one thinks that a lower amount is foreseen for corruption, bankruptcy, illegal burning of waste, or other crimes. The new crime will range from the “Collapse of buildings or other malicious disasters” (art. 434, one of the offenses contested in the trial on the collapse of the Morandi bridge in Genoa) and the “Manufacture or possession of explosive materials” (art. 435). Indeed the law decree, which has to be converted into law by the Parliament, itself doesn’t refer to music raves but rather to “rallies or abusive occupations,” thus concerning also workers’, student’s protests, or even anti-eviction movements. The first act of the new far-right government led by Meloni shows all the antisocial and reactionary character, also with respect to freedom of demonstration. Anyway, some exceptions seem to be contemplated. In the same weekend, a fascist rally took place in Predappio with salutes and hymns referring to the crime of apology to dictatorship, which was, on the contrary, ignored by the government, with the Minister of Interior, Piantedosi, declaring that Mussolini’s supporters had not disrupted public order and the rally had been happening for years. Compared to a music rave, far more worrying in terms of incitement to hate and violence seems indeed the homophobic and anti-feminist campaign organized by the National Movement – Patriots Network. The neo-fascist group night-time billboarded in various Italian cities posters with school buildings set on fire and the words ‘eternal flames to modern schools.’ After all, the security body itself doesn’t seem to share Minister Piantedosi’s same view since just a few weeks later, an antiterrorism operation targeted a neo-nazi movement called ‘Hagal’s Order,’ arresting four of its members. Such a far-right organization was made by white supremacists and Shoah deniers, ready to attack public places and cops with massive murders The investigation led to the discovery of much propaganda material, besides bullets, soft air weapons, and tactical clothing, in search of thirty people that could be entered in the police register of suspects. ‘Hagal’s Order’ is a group active since 2018 and already from the following year under the gaze of the police forces, which in May 2021 carried out the first searches looking for weapons. Among the various objects, two stand out in particular: the book Valhalla Express and the shirt of the European Front for Syria, both lead back to CasaPound Italia.

According to the association of ex-partisans (ANPI), these clues would be proof of a bond of “emerged” neo-fascism, which is clearly organized in acronyms of movements and associations and which dialogues with parties and institutions, intertwining with the “submerged” one with exchanges of various kinds, including the propaganda material of CPI.


International connections of ‘Hagel’s Order’ neo-fascist terrorism

One of the elements of connection between the terrorist organization ‘Order of Hagal’ and CPI is precisely the book “Valhalla Express”, which, as the subtitle states, reports “the story of a Ukrainian nationalist, revolutionary and volunteer in the Azov Battalion.” The author signs himself only with the nom de guerre and tells precisely of his militancy in the neo-Nazi far right in Ukraine, then of the arrival in arms, up to the actions on the battlefield of Donbas. One of the two editors of the Italian version is Domenico di Tullio, militant and CasaPound lawyer, a leading political figure of the neo-fascist group. The other is Andrea Lombardi, who, with CasaPound, ran for election. Lombardi is also the founder of the book publishing house called ‘Italia Storica,’ which “has as its object the study, dissemination, and deepening of military history, with particular regard to the Armed Forces of the Axis in the Second World War” and which, as is evident from the recurring interviews with the ‘Primato Nazionale’, is part of the CPI propaganda system.

Besides that, one of the ten suspects in the antiterrorism operation couldn’t be found, police said. The man, whose details have not been disclosed, is currently in Ukraine, and the investigative activity showed that he was in contact with the Azov battalion, currently engaged in facing the Russian invasion. The wanted person should be Anton Radomskyy, a Ukrainian, accused of being a member of the Hagal’s Order organization with executive tasks and connections to Pravi Sektor: from procuring weapons to contributing to the military training of militants. His relationships were constant with Giampiero Testa, a former militant of New Force (FN) and one of the most aggressive of the team. Combat-ready, armed, trained Nazi-fascists had, moreover a model to follow and to confront: Franco Freda, the former black terrorist, sentenced in 1982 to fifteen years in prison for the subversive association, then at the end of the 1990s convicted of re-establishing the fascist party for having founded the National Front at the center of the darkest Italian plots during the strategy of tension, protected in his hiding from the ‘Ndrangheta, accused (never convicted) of the massacre in the square Fountain in Milan on December 12, 1969. Besides that, there is a further international connection, this time American. In particular with Steve Bannon, the former adviser to Donald Trump, an ideologue for many European sovereignists, including Matteo Salvini’s League and, for a certain period Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy.

Testa and the Ukrainian comrade Radomskyy in one of their meetings, recalled the trip to Trisulti, in the province of Frosinone, where there was the famous abbey granted (later evicted) to the Dignitatis Humanae Institute association of Benjamin Harnwell, a friend of Bannon. In this place, the two wanted to set up the school of European sovereignists. The Nazis under investigation also passed through here. Testa claims, intercepted, that he met Trump’s former strategist in Trisulti and that he also met Harnwell on that occasion.

A Telegram channel called Protocol4 was used for the dissemination of Nazi theories. A neutral code name without apparent references to neo-Nazism or white suprematism, which in reality hid a secret virtual room transformed into a laboratory for a subversive political project, with flatterers of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, deniers of the Jewish holocaust and deniers of the Covid.

The same platform was the main tool of another neo-fascist terrorist group, dubbed by the investigators ‘Eastern European Bloc‘ at the end of November. The District Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terrorism Directorate of Genoa is carrying out three precautionary measures (two in prison and one under house arrest) against as many young people accused of being part of a Telegram group that has ended up being targeted. The three allegedly made an apology, through the web, for serious crimes (homicides and massacres), including those of a terrorist nature, instigated sexual violence against minors, and disseminated child pornography material via social channels. In the chats, the school shooters, the perpetrators of mass massacres in elementary and middle schools, were exalted. The young men had also inaugurated a “training campaign” in shooting with compressed air weapons using effigies of state offices as targets in abandoned areas of Genoa “with a view to a project to kill institutions of enormous dimensions,” with the intent to organize a coup in Montecitorio against Parliament.