The Italian government knew of the intention to carry out a terrorist attack on a synagogue in Rome in 1982 and did nothing. Only now, after 39 years, are the series of shocking documents that have been denied for decades being published. The documents confirm heavy accusations that the world heard about only in a hint from former Italian President Francesco Cosiga in an interview with the Israeli media in 2008. The documents were buried away from the public eye – and were revealed today (Friday) in the Italian media.
In an interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, Kosiga spoke of information that could trigger an “earthquake.” Cusiga claimed that Italy had given Palestinian terrorists permission to harm Jewish sites in Italian territory as part of an agreement known as “Ludo Moro.” According to the agreements, in exchange for turning a blind eye to terrorist activity – the Palestinians will promise not to harm Italian targets in Italian territory or Italian targets abroad, provided they have nothing to do with Zionism or the State of Israel. To kill Jews who are in contact with Israel. “We sold you,” he said.
Italy ignored the allegations made by Cusiga in 2008. Officially, these documents did not exist and the “Ludo Moro” agreement was considered a ghost. Senior Italian officials said of Cusiga that he was “elderly and crazy”, and was trying to take revenge on his former colleagues. Cusiga was not crazy or vindictive, and the documents revealed in the Italian media confirm that he was right. The attack on which the president spoke was the attack on a synagogue in Rome on October 9, 1982, in which Stefano Guy Teca, a two-year-old boy, was killed and 37 other people were injured. The possibility of carrying out a terrorist attack on a synagogue arose in reports from the Italian Secret Service as early as June 18, 1982.
The head of the secret service, Emanuela de Francesco, sent a secret and urgent memo to the police, the military police and two other Italian security organizations, under the headline: “A possible terrorist attack against Israeli and Jewish targets in Europe.” The content was short and clear: “A reliable source reported that Palestinians living in Europe were instructed to act in a series of attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets in Europe.”
The document was written in the early days of the Galilee Peace War, the First Lebanon War. On June 27, 1982, another memorandum was sent stating that “Palestinian students plan to attack a Jewish target in Rome and at the top of their list – the synagogue in Rome.” On August 27 of that year, the Secret Service reported that the terrorist attack was about to begin. The terrorist organizations have stated that they will reconsider whether to carry out the attack if the Italian government claims support for the PLO and George Habash’s organization has infiltrated terrorists into Europe.
Between June 18 and October 9, the Secret Service issued 16 warnings, three of which explicitly mentioned the synagogue in Rome. On September 25, the secret service sent a secret memorandum to the Italian Interior Ministry warning: “A reliable source reported an attack planned by the terrorist Abu Nidel on Yom Kippur or the day after.” The Israeli embassy also received the warning, but according to the same memorandum – Israeli targets will be hard to hit and therefore the Palestinian terrorists decided to hit Jewish targets.
Despite the warnings, the synagogue did not receive security and on October 9, not even a police car, which is usually in the area, was on the scene. The investigation conducted after the attack revealed nothing. Leonardo Piperano, an eyewitness to the attack, recounted: “They asked me some general questions and let me go.” Piperano said he saw two terrorists arrive on motorcycles at the scene. To this day it is not clear who exactly carried out the attack.
The findings of the 1982 investigation show that five terrorists carried out the attack. Four of them were not caught and the fifth, Abdul Osama al-Zimmer, a Palestinian student in Italy, was arrested on the Turkish-Greek border with 15 kg of explosives. His Italian girlfriend said he admitted to planning the attack in the synagogue. 1991, but without the “Ludo Moro”, the secret agreements with the Italian government, were mentioned in the trial.