Bomb scare, apparent terrorist flyers spook Bologna court
Investigators on guard due to apparent Red Brigades propaganda17 October, 15:50
On Wednesday morning, anonymous calls to the main switchboard of the Bologna courthouse led to a false alarm over a bomb threat and the evacuation of the prosecutor's office. Furthermore, three flyers featuring the five-star insignia of the Red Brigades (BR) Italian terrorist group were found in recent days near the court - one in the foyer of a building in front of the prosecutor's office, another in a nearby condominium, and a third in a building near the appeals court.
The flyers contained phrases that echoed BR demands of the past, but also referred to ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's definitive conviction for tax fraud as a motive for targeting courthouses.
All three flyers were turned over to the police.
It is unknown whether the flyers and the phone calls were connected, but the menacing incidents have put investigators on guard.
The BR, a Marxist-Leninist extremist group formed in 1970, was responsible for a number of violent incidents, assassinations, high profile hostage taking and robberies in the 1970s and 1980s, including the kidnapping and murder of former Italian premier Aldo Moro in 1978.
The BR was largely imprisoned and disbanded in the 1980's, but a new generation BR, with few links to the old group, cropped up in the late 1990's.
The new Red Brigades in 1999 assassinated government labour advisor Massimo D'Antona, and is also believed responsible for the murder of labour economist and government advisor Marco Biagi in Bologna in 2002. Both advisors were working on labour reforms when they were gunned down.
Bologna also lives with the memory of one of Italy's worst terrorist bombings, when a blast in the city's railway station took 85 lives and wounded more than 200 on August 2, 1980. The Bologna Massacre was attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist terrorist group, the Armed Revolutionary Nuclei.