Operation Gladio – part 5: The Belgian Brabant butchers, false flag agents of the NATO network

This article is part of a series called ‘Operation Gladio, an inquest into the world’s largest terrorist network’, which exposes the role of NATO and Western intelligence agencies in terrorism, assassinations, coup d’états, the international drug trade, psychological warfare and the creation of enemies to legitimise their war on humanity, both at home and abroad. This series documents the emergence and development of Operation Gladio in post-WOII Europe but also uncovers its rebirth and globalisation after the Cold War in which the network aligned itself with Salafi-jihadism – rather than the extreme right – to further NATO’s geopolitical agenda for global hegemony.

Previous parts of this series can be accessed below:

Part 1: A whirlwind the shadows of Operation Desert Storm

Part 2: Cold War Italy: blueprint for a true shadow government

Part 3 False flag terrorism and the strategy of tension in Italy

Part 4: (Neo-)Nazis and their frenemies


“Never write something down, never leave a trace.”[1]

CIA agent Carl Armfelt to Belgian Gladio operative Jean Bougerol

Between 1982 and 1985, a gang of “mad killers,” known as the Nijvel Gang or the Brabant killers, terrorised the otherwise rather peaceful central Belgian province of Brabant, which is the region situated around Brussels, the capital of the country as well as of the European Union and NATO. The gang carried out nearly two dozen robberies and murders, killing a total of 28 people and wounding over 40. The most horrifying scenes engrained in the public’s mind were undoubtedly three assaults on the Delhaize supermarket chain in September and November 1985, whereby a couple and their 14-year-old daughter were massacred, a father and his nine-year-old daughter were fatally shot in their car whilst trying to flee, and a wounded policeman was finished off in cold blood at close range. The assailants employed their weapons professionally and without much emotion. Parts of the meagre takings were later found in a canal, and nobody was ever convicted. Clearly, brutality was the mad killers’ trademark. Clearly, the intention superseded mere banditry. Clearly, the attacks were meant to install fear in the population.

The numerous blunders that were made by various inspection teams and the deliberate evasion of links to extreme-right organisations close to the secret services smell like nothing short of cover-up and sabotage. Moreover, the obvious links between law enforcement and the culprits were recently confirmed once more when it was learnt that “the giant,” the assailants’ leader, had confessed his crimes to his brother on his deathbed in 2015. His name was Christiaan Bonkoffsky, a former member of the elite unit Group Diane of the gendarmerie whose name had already been implicated in the case in 1999 after several people recognised him in a robot photo. Yet, he was never arrested.[2]

These findings have sparked renewed media attention around one of the darkest periods of modern Belgian history. Some argue that this is a good time to give the case to historians, as they would perhaps be able to finally solve the mystery by analysing it in its proper context. Indeed, historians at the Study Centre of War and Society (SOMA) have already solved the murder of communist leader Julien Lahaut two years ago after 65 years of judicial deadlock. The SOMA investigation, which was carried out at the request of the Senate, concluded that the murder was ordered by a secret private network intertwined with the police, financed by powerful businessmen and protected by ruling politicians. This anti-communist network was set up by André Moyen, one of the country’s top spies.[3] Were the Brabant killers, conform to the overall goal of Operation Gladio at internal subversion, false flag agents who were likewise steered by a larger political framework?

Operation Gladio in Belgium

When Operation Gladio was exposed in 1990, the press speculated that NATO’s Belgian stay-behind was perhaps in some way involved in the Brabant massacres. Indeed, many media outlets over the continent included the accumulating connections between governmental actors and the “strategy of tension” during the Italian Years of Lead in their reporting on Gladio. Perhaps, the Brabant massacres and to a lesser extent the violent acts of the Communist Combatant Cells (CCC) fitted into a similar scheme in which violent attacks were encouraged to pave the way for enhanced state control in a time that public opinion became more and more opposed to the Cold War, the European press speculated. Anticipating on Gladio’s coverage, Defence Minister Guy Coeme in November 1990 confirmed that Belgium indeed had a secret army and added that he wanted to know “if there is a possible link between the activities of this secret network and the banditry and terrorism which our country experienced over the last years.” Two days later, a flabbergasted Prime Minister Wilfried Martens nervously confronted the press, declaring that “I have been prime minister for 11 years, but I knew totally nothing about the existence of such a secret network in our country.”[4] Even Justice Minister Melchior Wathelet, who was responsible for state security – under whose authority one of the two branches of the stay-behind fell – admitted that “I heard about Gladio’s existence for the first time on 9 November.”[5] Clearly, the covert structure set up by NATO, the CIA and MI6 escaped any kind of democratic control.

Belgisch stay behind plan
Operations plans of the Belgian stay-behinds

Public opinion therefore pressured the political sphere, resulting in the publication of a report by the Senate called Parliamentary inquiry concerned with the existence in Belgium of a clandestine international intelligence network in October 1991. This investigation contributed greatly to laying bear the transnational workings of Europe’s stay-behind armies inside the NATO structure, certainly because NATO itself as well as the UK and the US remained steadfastly silent on the issue.[6] The commission quite adequately answered how the Belgian Gladio functioned as well. Contrary to other countries, the stay-behind had always been split into a civilian branch of state security called STC/Mob next to a military one. The latter was termed SDRA VIII and was brought under the military security SDRA, itself part of the military secret service SGR. Other sections of the military security are relevant as well, such as SDRA VI which housed a detachment of the gendarmerie and the administrative SDRA XI which was directly financed by NATO. Both stay-behinds were structured like a pyramid, in which instructors did not know each other’s agents and only a handful of officers, excluding American and British intelligence, had access to all files. The agents were recruited from the firmly anti-communist patriotic citizenry and participated in national exercises, while their instructors received parts of their training abroad. The report highlighted that the stay-behind structure was able to clandestinely move people and armaments all the way from Norway to Italy, which means that NATO was able to circumvent any kind of border control for whichever persons it chose to protect or whatever material it wanted to transfer across borders.[7]

As several actors inside this pan-European clandestine structure knowingly aided and abetted terrorism, this is particularly worrying. The parliamentary investigators therefore urged Lieutenant-Colonel B. Legrand to disclose the identity of the agents. When he refused, the minister of defence and the minister of justice agreed that the names would be given exclusively to a college of three magistrates, which would check if secret agents were involved in the terrorist attacks of the 1980s, and only if that was the case, the names would be passed on to the authorities. Astoundingly, the representatives of the NATO-linked secret army still refused.[8] The parliamentary investigators, as well as the most high-level elected officials of the executive, were under the false impression that Belgium was a democracy.

The murder of communist leader Julien Lahaut

The SDRA VIII and STC/Mob were not the only clandestine anti-communist stay-behinds in Belgium. There were several other powerful networks that operated in the realm of secrecy and fought their war against communism on the covert front. It seemed that these more privately organised networks were relied upon to carry out the dirty work. One of them was Milpol, a private intelligence network set up in the late 1940s by André Moyen, one of the country’s most well-connected spies who had headed a resistance organisation called Athos during the Second World War. The German occupiers had only just left the country when he started to focus on the communist enemy, which he perceived as the new threat that had to be fought at all costs.

Moyen’s activities varied from producing and spreading anti-communist propaganda such as fake information regarding Soviet weapon drops to collecting intelligence on communist sympathisers and disrupting pro-communist events. His secret organisation was sponsored by powerful businessmen as well as the country’s biggest companies, such as the Société Générale. It was even active in the Belgian colony of Congo. At the same time, Moyen had excellent relations with high-level officials of the secret services and the Belgian army and sent his reports among others to Minister of Interior Affairs Albert de Vleeschauwer.[9] In retrospect, Moyen appeared to have had connections to the Spanish, Italian and French branches of Gladio,[10] and he himself admitted to have been in contact with a myriad of intelligence agencies around the world, from Europe to the Middle East and Africa. Most importantly, he was indirectly in contact with the Pentagon’s Intelligence Division and the OSS, the CIA’s predecessor.[11] Although Moyen’s network certainly resembled Gladio, he himself told the parliamentary Gladio commission that Milpol operated independently from SDRA VIII and STC/Mob.[12] In short, Moyen headed a kind of secret stay-behind network parallel to Gladio that was financed by industrial elites, protected by the government and connected to the global covert underground world of anti-communist intelligence.

According to an investigation carried out by three historians at the Study Centre of War and Society (SOMA) at the request of and sponsored by the Senate, Moyen’s network was behind the 1950 murder of Julien Lahaut, the chairman of the Belgian Communist Party (KPB) and the most influential communist leader in Belgium’s post-war political landscape. Lahaut was firmly opposed to the reinstalment of King Leopold III, who after the country’s capitulation in 1940 refused to follow the government that continued the war in exile, remarried while being prisoner of war and even met Hitler at his own request. It is now surprise, then, that Lahaut was one of the parliamentarians who shouted “vive la république” during the oath of allegiance of King Baudouin, who succeeded his father Leopold III after the latter’s abdication, on 11 August 1950.[13] A week later, Lahaut was murdered outside his home. The historians at SOMA maintain, however, that although the Royal Question brought Belgium to the brink of civil war, it was only a secondary motive, the primary one being the establishment’s war against communism. And indeed, after Lahaut’s death the KPB was banned from holding public office and never regained its electoral strength.

Julien Lahaut
Communist leader Julien Lahaut was assassinated at the behest of Moyen’s network according a study by SOMA historians

The historians point to André Moyen’s anti-communist network for the responsibility of the murder. They came to this conclusion through the discovery of a document from 1948 in which the elimination of Lahaut was discussed, as well as several other documents that unveiled the motives of Moyen and his financial backers. While Moyen often shared his reports with the secret services and anti-communist politicians in the government, magistrates and inspectors trying to solve Lahaut’s case were excluded.[14] One of such reports found by the SOMA historians in 2012 unveiled the cover-up. In it, the identities of the culprits were revealed. It was written by Moyen less than two weeks after Lahaut’s death and was found in the archives of Albert de Vleeschauwer, a staunch leopoldist who until shortly before was minister of interior affairs. This information was not sent to the authorities, as a result of which nobody was ever arrested for the crime.[15]

The Americans go at it themselves

Moyen’s network was active at least until 1961.[16] During the next 15 years, the period that roughly coincided with the first détente on the international Cold War stage, it is not known if there existed parallel Gladio structures. Then, in 1977 Albert Raes was appointed head of state security, and he tried to roll back the CIA’s dominance over the Belgian secret services.[17] According to the parliamentary report on Gladio, this led to the deterioration of the relationship between the Belgian and American secret services.[18] Additionally, and perhaps even more important, the Belgian population strongly resisted NATO’s 1979 decision to place nuclear rockets on Belgian soil. This resulted in 200.000 protesters in 1981 and even double that amount in 1983 flooding the streets of Brussels, which at the same time housed NATO’s headquarters.[19] For the Atlantic establishment, such grandiose dissent in one of the alliance’s most symbolic countries was clearly a huge problem. Hence, the Americans decided that the official structures of Operation Gladio were insufficient in keeping the Belgians in line and went at it themselves. An anonymous Belgian colonel testified to the Belgian Gladio parliamentary committee that US military personnel at SHAPE started to recruit pro-American citizens to establish “a network similar to stay behind” in 1981. The recruits would receive a Colt 45 revolver, and the organisation would be pyramidically structured, just like Gladio, in order to make sure it was kept secret.[20]

Whether through this parallel SHAPE stay-behind or through unclarified alternative means, the Americans undeniably engaged in subversive covert action on Belgian soil in the 1980s without relying much on the official Gladio structures. Today, it has surfaced that in at least two false flag cases spearheaded by Americans weapons were stolen from Belgian military bases, only to be planted at the address of groups opposed to NATO. The Belgian parliamentary committee on Gladio, for instance, described how special agent John Wood infiltrated the Dutch and Belgian peace activist movement at the behest of the Dutch secret services, organised the theft of air craft grenades from an airbase of the Belgian army in Florennes in March 1984 and consequently made an anonymous call implicating a peace activist. Wood had received training in the US Special Forces Command headquarters in Fort Bragg.[21]

Reconstructie Aalst 2010
Photo of the 2010 reconstruction of the final and bloodiest Gang of Nijvel assault in November 1985

More details are known about a second, more aggressive, special operation. In the first two weeks of May 1984, NATO held its “Oesling” exercises on Belgian soil. In the yearly exercises, American special forces prepared for a Soviet invasion in cooperation with the Belgian army, gendarmerie and police, as well as Gladio’s SDRA VIII. A more sinister secret manoeuvre in conjunction with these exercises, namely breaking into the military barracks of Vielsalm, was being prepared for at the same time, however. This was confirmed by several sources involved in the Oesling operation, including paracommandos Lucien Dislaire and Jan van Gael as well as Jean-Claude Marlair, the commander of the Vielsalm base. When Marlair learnt about this plan, he prohibited its execution.[22] Astonishingly, the plan did materialise despite Marlair’s orders on 13 May, the day before the final day of the exercises. A group of three military trained men cut the barbered wire surrounding the base, disarmed one soldier, shot and gravely wounded another and stole machine guns and other weapons. Later, part of the loot was found at an apartment linked to leftist militant groups such as the CCC and Action Directe. Yet, Dislaire, a former para trooper and small-scale criminal who was recruited by “four military men” to take part in a “secret military exercise,” testified later that year to investigative journalist René Haquin of Le Soir that he had dropped off Oesling soldiers the evening before the break-in deep in the woods five kilometres away from the Vielsalm base.[23]

The crimes attributed to the Nijvel Gang, certainly not a fixed group of people, are divided into two periods. From the beginning of March 1982 until the end of 1983 it carried out numerous robberies, in which people were killed rather sporadically. After a silence of almost two years, the second phase was much shorter but appeared to be highly coordinated and professional. It included a double assault on two Delhaize supermarkets in September 1985, in addition to the most brutal of all attacks on a Delhaize in Aalst that killed a total of eight people a month and a half later. In this final phase, the gangsters’ sole intention was creating a bloodbath so as to install fear in the Belgian population. When we compare this time frame to what we know about American covert action in Belgium in the 1980s so far, a noticeable pattern reveals itself. As a reaction to adversity against NATO’s Cold War doctrine by both domestic state security officials and the population at large, the Americans started to recruit their own gladiators. Following this, the mysterious Brabant killers appear out of nowhere and spread havoc unlike what the region was used to. In 1984, during the pause in the gang’s activities, the Americans engineered at least two break-ins of Belgian military bases in which weapons of the Belgian army were stolen. The next year, the Brabant killers return more violently than ever and finally disappear forever after the opposition against NATO’s nuclear rockets had significantly swindled. These correlations foster suspicions that the Americans had a hand in the brutal massacres. They are confirmed when we take a deeper look into the extreme-right organisations that are connected to the Brabant killers and, at the same time, maintained close ties to elements of state security as well as to NATO and American military intelligence.

The manipulation of the extreme right

The endless investigations into the Brabant massacres never yielded much result. When inspectors did come close to the truth, however, they were systematically removed from the case. When already in 1985 inspectors of the gendarmerie pointed out to investigative judge Jean-Marie Schlicker that right-wing extremists had infiltrated the gendarmerie and that they were the likely culprits, they were degraded to the traffic police by their superior Jean-Luc Duterme. Because the crimes were spread over several jurisdictions, multiple investigations were ongoing next to one another in the years following the crimes. Many people saw investigative judge Freddy Troch’s inspection in Dendermonde as the most vigorous one. Yet, in October 1990 the entire investigation was centralised and moved to the Walloon city of Charleroi despite much criticism against the move. Not long thereafter, Troch was fired as investigative magistrate and moved to another position. According to lawyer Jef Vermassen, Troch had told him that he was on the brink of a break-through, and that he was about to “attack high-level officials.”[24]

From that point on, the centralised investigation involved many blunders and sabotage. The investigators only in 1998 put out a search warrant with robot photos, some of which had already been made 15 years before. When someone recognised his youth friend Christiaan Bonkoffsky in one of the pictures, he immediately alerted the authorities. Even though Bonkoffsky’s stature and background as a former member of the elite gendarmerie unite Group Diane fitted the profile, nothing was done. When in 2010, finally, gendarmerie officer Lionel Ruth was removed from the case after it surfaced that he had hidden weapons from the investigation in his home, the same Jean-Luc Duterme who deviated the investigation away from the gendarmerie in the 1980s was appointed director of the federal police of Charleroi. Duterme went on to place a trusted confident on the case, who burnt three million pages of the dossier. According to fellow investigator Eddy Vos, these files contained important documents. When Vos protested this move in 2012, he was temporarily suspended, after which he himself left the investigation.[25] Today, even Minister of Justice Koen Geens admits that there were “clearly attempts to manipulate the investigation.”[26]

Opsporingsbericht 1998
The 1998 search warrant was issued 15 years after some of the robot photos had been made

The obstructed inquiries failed to properly investigate the trail of right-wingers with ties to the state apparatus. Just like the members of Ordine Nuovo were protected by an unofficial but powerful structure supporting false flag terrorism in Italy, so were there substantial ties between law enforcement agencies and right-wing organisations in Belgium. In 1973, a private militia called the Front de la Jeunesse (FJ) emerged out of clubs surrounding the extreme-right Nouvel Europe Magazine. Interestingly, one of its journalists was André Moyen, whose private network had been responsible for the murder of communist leader Julien Lahaut in 1950.[27] According to FJ leader Francis Dossogne, his organisation had a branch inside the gendarmerie called Group G. When Martial Lekeu, member of Group G and thus of the gendarmerie, reported to his superiors already in December 1983 that members of the gendarmerie were involved in the Brabant massacres, he was told: “Shut up! You know, we know. Take care of your own business. Get out of here!”[28] After having received death threats, Lekeu and his family fled to Florida in 1984.

The core members of FJ went on to form the Westland New Post (WNP). Its leader was Paul Latinus, a regularly unemployed technical engineer and reserve officer of the air force. Despite his extreme right-wing convictions, he worked as an informant for state security, at whose request he had to infiltrate leftist movements. When his cover was blown by leftist journal Pour in the end of 1980, he fled to Pinochet’s Chili.[29] During his short stay there, he resided with Maria de Cuevas, a member of the Chilean embassy in Brussels and, curiously, granddaughter of David Rockefeller, arguably one of the if not the most powerful person in the Western world at that time.[30]

Upon his return, Latinus founded the neo-Nazi WNP, the core members of which all had a past in the army. Over the years, most of these core members disclosed the group’s ties to American intelligence. Latinus himself freely admitted that he was supported by “the Americans” during an interrogation in 1983 regarding a double homicide committed by his friend and fellow WNP-member Marcel Barbier. He told investigators that “I have been in contact with US officers, who asked me to work for them,” adding that “it seemed that they [wanted to] create a climate of insecurity in Brussels.”[31] Later, he would specify to a reporter of Le Soir that he received his orders from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the military equivalent of the CIA.[32] Core members Michel Libert and Marcel Barbier confirmed these wild claims. After his release from jail, Barbier told investigative journalist Guy Bouten “trust me, Latinus was really in contact with the Americans.”[33] And Libert stated in a BBC documentary that Latinus regularly met people from the US embassy. Additionally, Libert has always maintained that he acted with authorisation from NATO through Latinus when he stole NATO documents from the Belgian army base in Evere.[34]

Finally, Francine Lanoy, Latinus’ mother, revealed his son’s foreign contact person to investigative magistrate Jean-Marie Schlicker. On multiple occasions, Latinus told her that he worked for General Alexander Haig, who from 1974 to 1979 was the commander of NATO forces in Europe at SHAPE and subsequently became secretary of state under Ronald Reagan in 1981.[35] Already in 1969, Haig as Nixon’s military advisor had instructed Licio Gelli to recruit 400 high-ranking Italian and NATO officers into his Italian Gladio-linked Propagande Due freemasonic lodge.[36] In other words, Haig was no stranger to NATO’s underground Gladio world.

Paul Latinus
Paul Latinus, leader of the Westland New Post, received his orders from the NATO network behind Operation Gladio

From the moment Latinus was interrogated in September 1983, he started to speak out about his foreign ties. Consequently, he conducted a number of explosive interviews with René Haquin of Le Soir, to which he disclosed that he had been instructed to create a secret resistance group to counter a potential Soviet penetration.[37] Sounds familiar? Indeed, years before Operation Gladio was exposed, Latinus was saying that his superiors from the DIA and NATO entrusted him with setting up an extreme-right parallel stay-behind unit. When the press learnt that several secret service agents had infiltrated the WNP and that one of them had even given them training lessons, parliamentarians summoned state security officials and demanded answers. Thereupon, they shared some of their reports. Out of one it surfaced that the WNP was in contact with a mysterious global private intelligence service called IRIS. Next to nothing is known about this shadowy CIA-like organisation, only that it was headquartered in Holland and that it attracted the likes of former British Prime Minister Edward Heath, former American Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Henry Kissinger.[38]

According to Latinus’ girlfriend, he had information about the “Pink Ballets” as well. These were drugs- and sex-parties which were said to be held in the end of the 1970s, in which high-level officials along with minors were alleged to be involved. Most noticeably, Prime Minister Paul vanden Boeynants and then Crown Prince but future King Albert II were accused of having attended the orgies. In April 1984, however, Latinus’ dead body was found on the floor of the seller of his apartment. As the police discovered a telephone cable at the scene, it was officially ruled a suicide by hanging. Several tests with the same type of cable found that it always broke at 42 kilo, while Latinus’ weight was around 55 kilo.[39] Indeed, Latinus was suicided.

The Westland New Post, the Americans and the Brabant massacres

Senator Roger Lallemand, head of the parliamentary inquiry into Belgium’s clandestine Gladio structure, told Alan Francovich in front of BBC camera’s in 1992 that “we think a political organisation was behind the Brabant-Walloon killings.” Pointing to the similarities to the strategy of tension in Italy and the “gratuitous” style employed by the murderers “to shock the public and political circles,” he alleged that “it could be foreign governments and foreign intelligence services” which engineered “the terrorism that aims to destabilise democratic society.”[40] Although he was cautious not to directly mention the US, the Gladio report that he commissioned had concluded a year earlier that the US had access to “an arsenal of methods to ‘adjust’ the internal situation of the countries under its sphere of influence.”[41] As we have seen, American covert action in Belgium throughout the Cold War indeed manifested itself in a wide variety of ways. Aside from its dominance over the official clandestine Gladio structure, the Americans were in contact with André Moyen’s network, created their own SHAPE stay-behind, orchestrated at least two false flag robberies of Belgian military facilities and puppeteered Latinus’ neo-Nazi WNP.

It is noteworthy that the Americans stepped up their covert activities on Belgian soil just when the Belgian population and some sections of the secret services were protesting NATO’s Cold War line. This unveils a clear motive to control the population through a strategy of tension in conjunction with the most loyal pro-American elements of the government and the extreme-right modelled on the conclusively documented Italian model. The final nail in the coffin, then, is the testimony of WNP core members Marcel Barbier and Michel Libert, who revealed that the WNP was instructed to carry out the preparations for the supermarket assaults. To Allen Francovich, Libert said the following:

“We know that we were protected by all possible authorities depending on the type of mission. […] We received orders. We can go back to, say, 1982. From 1982 to 1985 there were projects. ‘You, Mr. Libert, know nothing about why we’re doing this. Nothing at all. All that we ask is that your group, with cover from the gendarmerie, with cover from [state] security, carry out a job. Target: the supermarkets. Where are they? What kind of locks are there? What sort of protection do they have that could interfere with our operation? Does the store manage lock up? Or do they use an outside security company?’ We carried out the orders and sent in our reports: hours of opening and closing, everything you want to know about a supermarket. What was this for? This was one amongst hundreds of missions. Something that had to be done, but, the use it was all put to, that is the big question.”[42]

When investigative journalist Guy Bouten interviewed Marcel Barbier in his apartment after he was released from custody years later, he confirmed the WNP’s role in the supermarket assaults:

“We of the WNP have helped prepare the gang’s crimes. Libert called them ‘les grands événements’. We collected information on the locations of the supermarkets, the surveillance, the traffic situation, the whole thing. Accordingly, Eric [Eric Lammers, another WNP member] and I once attended an exercise in Kraainem. It was a Delhaize or a GB, I don’t remember exactly. There were snipers up on the roof, when suddenly a Golf GTI [this type of car was often used in crimes associated with the Brabant killers] with four people aboard arrived and quickly turned around, but some roads were guarded by the gendarmerie. The commando thus had to choose the right escape path. I was predestined to become a member of the Nijvel Gang. More than that I won’t say.”[43]

According to the Gladio parliamentary inquiry, Barbier claimed to have worked for an international organisation whose name he never wanted to reveal. The report also noted that he had in his possession a Colt 45, the same type of revolver that was given to recruits of the American/SHAPE stay-behind.[44] From the evidence gathered above, it is fairly obvious that the WNP, or the Nijvel Gang for that matter, were part of a parallel Gladio network.

Notes

[1] Quoted in Guy Bouten, De Bende van Nijvel en de CIA (Leuven: Van Halewyck, 2011), 5.

[2] “Wat weten we over de ‘reus’ van de Bende van Nijvel?”, Knack, 23.10.2017, http://knack.be/nieuws/belgie/wat-weten-we-over-de-reus-van-de-bende-van-nijvel/article-normal-915941.html.

[3] Emmanuel Garard and Rudi van Doorslaer, “Het is aan historici nu,” De Standaard, 28.10.2017, http://standaard.be/cnt/dmf20171027_03158026.

[4] Jan Willems, “De chef van de militaire veiligheid ontkent,” in Dossier Gladio, ed. Jan Willems (Berchem: EPO, 1991), 13.

[5] Jan Willems, “Een minister ontdekt Gladio,” in Dossier Gladio, ed. Jan Willems (Berchem: EPO, 1991), 23.

[6] The parliamentary investigation was able to provide more details on the Coordination and Planning Committee (CPC) and the Allied Coordination Committee (ACC), the two bodies through which the various branches of Gladio cooperated and were in contact with one another. Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti had revealed their existence in his October 1990 report to parliament, but it was left to the Belgian commissioners to figure out how they fitted into NATO, and in particular how they were connected to SHAPE, the military headquarters of the Atlantic alliance located in Belgium: Mr. Erdman and Mr. Hasquin, Parlementair onderzoek met betrekking to het bestaan in België van een clandestine international inlichtingennetwerk (Belgian Senate: session 1990-1991, 01.10.1991), 17-28, available at http://senate.be/lexdocs/S0523/S05231297.pdf.

[7] Erdman and Hasquin, Parlementair onderzoek, 30-74.

[8] Erdman and Hasquin, Parlementair onderzoek, 51-3.

[9] Emmanuel Gerard, Widukind de Ridder and Françoise Muller, Wie heeft Lahaut vermoord? (Leuven: Davidsfonds, 2015), 169-204.

[10] Daniele Ganser, NATO’s secret armies: Operation Gladio and terrorism in Western Europe (London/New York: Frank Cass, 2005), 106-7, available at http://libcom.org/files/NATOs_secret_armies.pdf.

[11] Gerard, de Ridder and Muller, Wie heeft Lahaut vermoord?, 169-204.

[12] Erdman and Hasquin, Parlementair onderzoek, 99.

[13] Gerard, de Ridder and Muller, Wie heeft Lahaut vermoord?, 25-6.

[14] Gerard, de Ridder and Muller, Wie heeft Lahaut vermoord?, 133-43.

[15] “Doder Lahaut al na 13 dagen bekend,” De Morgen, 02.06.2012, reprinted on Bende van Nijvel, http://bendevannijvel.com/2012/06/02/doder-lahaut-al-na-13-dagen-bekend/.

[16] “Doder Lahaut al na 13 dagen bekend.”

[17] Lander van de Sompel, De Westland New Post: Pop-up van een veranderende samenleving? De WNP herbekeken (Ghent University: Master thesis History, 2017), promoted by Rudi van Doorslaer, 64-72, available at http://lib.ugent.be/fulltxt/RUG01/002/349/121/RUG01-002349121_2017_0001_AC.pdf.

[18] Erdman and Hasquin, Parlementair onderzoek, 98.

[19] Filip Vranckx, introduction to Voordat de bom valt: de rakkettenkwestie in Belgische cartoons (1979-1985) (Catholic University of Leuven: Master thesis History, 2009), promoted by I. Goddeeris, available at Vlaamse Scriptiebank, http://scriptiebank.be/scriptie/2009/voordat-de-bom-valt-de-rakettenkwestie-belgische-cartoons-1979-1985.

[20] Erdman and Hasquin, Parlementair onderzoek, 83.

[21] Erdman and Hasquin, Parlementair onderzoek, 91-3.

[22] Bouten, De Bende van Nijvel en de CIA, 186-93; Allan Francovich, Operation Gladio (BBC 2, Timewatch, 1992), 1h40m-1h45m30, http://youtube.com/watch?v=GGHXjO8wHsA&t=5808s; Walter de Smedt, “Is de Bende van Nijvel verantwoordelijk voor de overval op deze kazerne in Vielsalm?”, Knack, 02.11.2017, http://knack.be/nieuws/belgie/is-de-bende-van-nijvel-verantwoordelijk-voor-de-overval-op-deze-kazerne-in-vielsalm/article-opinion-920517.html.

[23] Bouten, De Bende van Nijvel en de CIA, 189-90.

[24] “Vermassen: ‘ik weet wie er achter de Bende van Nijvel zit’,” VRT, 15.10.2017, http://vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2017/10/15/vermassen—ik-weet-wie-er-achter-de-bende-van-nijvel-zit-/.

[25] Douglas de Coninck, “Dossiers verbrand, wapens gepikt, slachtoffers geschoffeerd: onderzoek Waals-Brabant is één grote warboel: terugblik of ‘het onderzoek van de laatse kans’,” De Morgen, 24.10.2017, http://demorgen.be/binnenland/dossiers-verbrand-wapens-gepikt-slachtoffers-geschoffeerd-onderzoek-waals-brabant-is-een-grote-warboel-ba9e926e/; “Hoe het kon dat dossiers over de Bende van Nijvel werden verbrand,” Nieuwsblad, 24.10.2017, http://nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20171024_03149831.

[26] Anne Vanrenteghem, “Geens: ‘Met manipulatie bedoelde ik wapens uit het kanaal van Ronquières’,” VRT, 24.10.2017, http://vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2017/10/24/geens—met-manipulatie-bedoelde-ik-de-wapens-uit-het-kanaal-van/.

[27] Van de Sompel, De Westland New Post, 9-10.

[28] Ganser, NATO’s secret armies, 142-3.

[29] Van de Sompel, De Westland New Post, 17-8.

[30] Van de Sompel, De Westland New Post, 53.

[31] Van de Sompel, De Westland New Post, 26.

[32] This reporter was René Haquin, who interviewed Latinus on several occasions in the 1980s. Additional revelations drawn from these interviews are discussed in the next paragraph. René Haquin, Operatie staatsveiligheid: de staatsveiligheid en de WNP (Antwerpen: EPO, 1984), 73.

[33] Bouten, De Bende van Nijvel en de CIA, 52.

[34] Ganser, NATO’s secret armies, 143-4; Haquin, Operatie staatsveiligheid, 85-94.

[35] Bouten, De Bende van Nijvel en de CIA, 52-3.

[36] Bas Spliet, “Operation Gladio – part 2: Cold War Italy, blueprint for a true shadow government,” Scrutinised Minds, 22.03.2018, https://scrutinisedminds.com/2018/03/22/operation-gladio-part-2-cold-war-italy-blueprint-for-a-true-shadow-government/.

[37] Haquin, Operatie staatsveiligheid.

[38] Haquin, Operatie staatsveiligheid, 74 and 111; Leonard Downie Jr., “D.C. publisher plans a global intelligence service,” Washington Post, 18.11.1981, partly available at http://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP90-00806R000100500059-1.pdf.

[39] Van de Sompel, De Westland New Post, 27.

[40] Francovich, Operation Gladio, 1h46m-1h50m.

[41] Erdman and Hasquin, Parlementair onderzoek, 78.

[42] Francovish, Operation Gladio, 2h02m-2h05m.

[43] Bouten, De Bende van Nijvel en de CIA, 62.

[44] Erdman and Hasquin, Parlementair onderzoek, 83.

 

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