July 4, 2005
As it turns out, Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, who was reportedly abducted in Milan on February 17, 2003, was a CIA informant, according to Albanian intelligence officials. “Why would the U.S. government go to elaborate lengths to seize a 39-year-old Egyptian who, according to former Albanian intelligence officials, was once the CIA’s most productive source of information within the tightly knit group of Islamic fundamentalists living in exile in Albania?” muses the Chicago Tribune. Italian prosecutors seem to believe Nasr had wandered and the CIA wanted to “turn him back into the informer he once was.” Maybe. However, there is also the possibility the CIA (and there is evidence the abduction has nothing to do with the CIA) wanted to make sure Nasr didn’t spill the beans on their covert activities. Italian prosecutors are discovering some interesting links as they probe the Nasr abduction.
As Wayne Madsen writes, it wasn’t the CIA who kidnapped Nasr but rather “a covert team of U.S. Defense Department Special Forces, mercenaries, and intelligence agents who are now the subject of international arrest warrants.” It now appears members of this Pentagon-based (not the CIA) covert team were in cahoots with Gaetano Saya and Riccardo Sindoca, two neofascists “who reportedly have close ties to both the P-2 (Propaganda Due) Masonic lodge and a secret Cold War network known as Gladio,” according to Madsen. Saya and Sindoca set up something dubbed “the Department of Strategic Anti-Terrorism Studies, which reportedly had links to both the Bush administration and Ariel Sharon’s Likud government in Israel.”
Operation Gladio is very interesting in the current context because it was essentially a “tool for political repression and manipulation, directed by NATO and Washington,” as Chris Floyd explains. “Using right-wing militias, underworld figures, government provocateurs and secret military units, Gladio not only carried out widespread terrorism, assassinations and electoral subversion in democratic states such as Italy, France and West Germany, but also bolstered fascist tyrannies in Spain and Portugal, abetted the military coup in Greece and aided Turkey’s repression of the Kurds.” Gladio employed a “strategy of tension,” that is to say the secretive group pulled off terrorist plots and blamed it on left-wingers, “fomenting fear to keep populations in thrall to ’strong leaders’ who will protect the nation from the ever-present terrorist threat.”
In Secret Warfare: Operation Gladio and NATO’s Stay-Behind Armies, edited by Daniele Ganser and Christian Nuenlist, we learn about specifics of the Gladio “strategy of tension.” Vincenzo Vinciguerra, who confessed to carrying out the Peteano terrorist attack of 31 May 1972 (blamed on the Red Brigades), testified that the “terrorist line was followed by camouflaged people, people belonging to the security apparatus, or those linked to the state apparatus through rapport or collaboration.” Right-wing organizations across Western Europe “were being mobilized into the battle as part of an anti-communist strategy originating not with organizations deviant from the institutions of power, but from the state itself,” specifically NATO.
Mark Zepezauer writes:
One of P-2’s [members of Operation Gladio were also connected to P-2] specialties was the art of provocation. Leftist organizations like the Red Brigades were infiltrated, financed and / or created, and the resulting acts of terrorism, like the assassination of Italy’s premier in 1978 and the bombing of the railway station in Bologna in 1980, were blamed on the left. The goal of this “strategy of tension” was to convince Italian voters that the left was violent and dangerous—by helping make it so.
Is it possible a new (or extended) version of Operation Gladio is currently at work in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, endeavoring to convince us that Islam is “violent and dangerous—by helping make it so”? It appears Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr (currently a disappeared person) worked for either the CIA or intelligence units run out of the Pentagon (specifically, the Pentagon’s Task Force 121 covert units). It should be noted that Osama bin Laden was a CIA asset during the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
Last October, I theorized the kidnapping of CARE’s Margaret Hassan was a joint CIA-Mossad operation. I wrote at the time “the kidnapping of Margaret Hassan is part of a counterinsurgency operation devised to make the resistance look bad and thus turn world opinion against it,” in other words a classic Gladio-like operation. “Since it is obviously impossible for the United States to defeat the Iraqi resistance, it makes perfect sense for the CIA—possibly in alliance with other covert intelligence operations, for instance the documented Mossad operation in northern Iraq—to covertly engage in terrorism, which the White House and the corporate media subsequently blame on the resistance.”
It is interesting the Italians are in the process of linking two fascist Gladio warriors to the Pentagon abduction of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, a Muslim apparently working under cover for the CIA, according to sources quoted by the Chicago Tribune. Of course, all of this will blow over in a few days as the news cycle revolves around more important stories—for instance, women desperate for Jessica Simpson’s hair, or singer and reality show attendee Pink’s marriage to motocross racer Carey Hart.
Most Americans have no idea who Nasr is—or if they did would they particularly care—and Gladio must be a movie about gladiators or something. Ignorance is bliss—although it may ultimately prove to be deadly bliss as the Bushcons nudge the nation closer to total war (with more than a little help from “strategy of tension” covert operations) and the cell phone and flat plasma HDTV generation are reminded their “sacrifice” is required (through bullet-stopper conscription) to bring “democracy” to benighted Arabs and such who, coincidentally, are a thorn in Israel’s side and just so happen to be sitting atop a whole lot of oil and other natural resources.