Operation GLADIO – NATO’s abhorrent post WWII strategy of secretly carrying out terrorist attacks and blaming them on communists, has resurfaced and brought the Government of Luxembourg to its knees.
On Wednesday Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker announced his resignation after a parliamentary committee concluded that his administration had lost control over the country’s intelligence service, SREL (Service de Renseignement de l’État du Luxembourg), a rogue entity that has been bugging senior politicians, illegally spying on citizens and generally operating above the law for decades.
New elections will take place in October.
Juncker is accused of turning the other cheek – enabling the agency to continue unimpeded despite knowledge of criminal activity. Not one agent or employee has been brought to justice and Juncker only became cooperative when it was no longer possible to prosecute those responsible. The scandal boiled over after a bugged conversation was leaked in which Juncker and the SREL implicated NATO in a series of 1980s terrorist attacks.
The “Bommeleeër Affär” involved 20 or so bombings that plunged the quiet and peaceful country in to a state of fear, and forced the Government to adopt a stringent defense policy.
Unlike GLADIO operations in Italy and other NATO countries the specific purpose of the bombings remained unknown, in that nobody took credit and nobody was officially blamed. However the fear and confusion created by the seemingly random attacks might have been the desired effect, after all a scared population is a more malleable population. In line with the aims of GLADIO though not necessarily linked, Luxembourg did follow right wing politics until 2009 when Juncker formed a coalition with the Socialist Workers Party.
There’s no doubt that the bombings, which targeted the airport, police stations, the power grid, and newspaper offices, were an inside job – not least because miraculously nobody was killed, suggesting it was more of a carefully planned theater than a legitimately ideologically driven terrorist plot. Furthermore most of the initial evidence “disappeared” down the black hole of “intelligence failures”.
Today, nearly three decades after the bombings two members of the Brigade mobile de la Gendarmerie (an elite police/military unit) are on trial and more light has been shed on the sordid affair. The prosecution believe it to be a case of a run away military industrial complex, the tactic of creating a “climate of fear” in order to gain additional funding and power for the rogue law enforcement and military agencies involved.
While this no doubt plays an important part in the attacks, the prosecution appear to be going for the low-hanging fruit in order for a swift and straight-forward headline-friendly trial. It’s the defence who have blown the case wide open, fingering NATO’s stay-behind network GLADIO of being the masterminds behind the bombings.
Very similar attacks during the same time-frame were taking place in Italy – most notably the August 2, 1980, Bologna train station bombing that killed 85. A parliamentary commission in the 90s determined the attack was a false flag carried out by neo-fascist extremists under the guidance of GLADIO, to blame the left, in order for the right to maintain dominance.
Though Luxembourg’s “Bommeleeër Affär” might not have quite followed the same trajectory, there is ample evidence that the bombings were carried out through the GLADIO system. German historian Andreas Kramer claims that his father, John Kramer, was an officer in the German Intelligence Service (BND) and was the head of some of the Stay Behind networks. He also alleges that his father was responsible for the bombings in Luxembourg.
Furthermore Defence lawyers presented the secret recording from 2007 between prime minister Juncker, the justice minister, Luc Frieden, and Marco Mille the head of SREL, in which they discuss the likely involvement of Luxembourg’s GLADIO branch and the infamous Italian P2 Masonic lodge in the attacks.
It was SREL chief Mille that bugged the conversation, and this makes up the case against Juncker who refused to punish him for the illegal recording. Under Juncker’s watch the intelligence service illegally spied on individuals, and misused funds to buy luxury cars. Luxembourg’s head of state, Grand Duke Henri has also been implicated in working closely with British intelligence, though he denies this.
While much more still needs to come out about these scandals in Luxembourg, it is encouraging that decades later truth manages to find its way to the surface.
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