So, I read this morning that the CEO of an Italian nuclear engineering company was ambushed and kneecapped yesterday by two men on a motor cycle. The working assumption so far seems to be that this might be the work of a reincarnation of the Red Brigades, protesting the austerity measures being borne by the Italian people as a result of Italy's financial crisis:
Unidentified gunmen on a motorbike shot the chief executive of an Italian nuclear engineering company in the leg on Monday, police said, in an incident reminiscent of politically motivated violence that raged in the country in the 1970s and 1980s.
Roberto Adinolfi, chief executive of Ansaldo Nucleare - majority owned by Italian defense conglomerate Finmeccanica - was shot outside his house in Genoa in northern Italy, police and judicial sources told Reuters.
Two men on a black Yamaha motorbike wearing helmets fired three shots, fracturing Adinolfi's right knee. He was not in a serious condition, the sources said.
Shooting people in the legs was a trademark practice of the Red Brigades, a left-wing guerrilla group that carried out a campaign of murder and kidnapping aimed at destabilizing Italy in the 1970s and 1980s and known as "the years of lead".
If you google the main players in the story, the Red Brigades hypothesis seems very popular with most news outlets. And maybe this shooting really was carried out by someone identifying with them. But if it was, they picked a bit of odd target to protest austerity, didn't they? If you were the Red Brigades, and you wanted to shoot someone to protest Italy's financial crisis, wouldn't you choose ... well, a financier? The head of a nuclear engineering firm seems an oddly specific target.
Reuters attempts to make the link between Roberto Adinolfi and the current financial crisis, but it's a bit of a stretch to see how this makes him a likely target for an anti-capitalist hit:
Finmeccanica controls Ansaldo Energia, the parent company of Ansaldo Nucleare, whose other major shareholder is U.S. private equity fund First Reserve Corporation.
Roberto Adinolfi isn't a banker or a politician. He's the CEO of a nuclear engineering business that designs and builds nuclear power stations for international clients. It lists China, Romania, Argentina, Ukraine, Armenia and Slovakia as some of its current customers, and boasts that it "can additionally rely on the support of [sister company] Ansaldo Energia local offices in about 20 countries worldwide".
One of those 20 countries is Iran, where Ansaldo Energia has - since 1999 - been supplying gas turbines to Iranian power stations, and where it maintains six regional offices.
Meanwhile, local online news source SavonaNews.it warned against the unseemly haste in blaming leftist terrorists for the shooting in Genoa, reminding readers that Genoa - like Bologna - is a city that has been used in the past for "false flag" attacks with hidden meanings. It also pointed out that Ansaldo and its parent company Finmeccanica are allegedly involved in other activities that conceivably could have given rise to this outcome. For example, it mentions recent reports that Finmeccanica has connections with organized crime (specifically that it is involved in a money-laundering scheme for the Calabrian mafia), and notes that:
Ansaldo e Finmeccanica sono poi uno dei tasselli storici di traffici tra il lecito e l'illecito, su scala internazionale, nel settore militare e nucleare. Società che hanno "capitale" a Genova (così come il vecchio gruppo della Italimpianti), città dove sono emerse - come noi indicammo - società iraniane (di cui una di copertura di servizi segreti iraniani), interessate ai traffici illeciti (ed in violazione dell'embargo internazionale) tra le imprese italiane ed il regime iraniano.
Ansaldo and Finmeccanica are also historically one of the players in the semi-legal international trade in the military and nuclear sectors. They have their base in Genoa (like the old Italimpianti group), a city where -- as we have reported -- a number of Iranian companies have cropped up, one of which is a cover for the Iranian secret service, and all of which are interested in illegal trade (in violation of the international embargo) between Italian companies and the Iranian regime. (Translation mine)
Now, all of this proves absolutely nothing. But it does set off your conspiracy theory radar a bit, if you've been following the news about nuclear personnel elsewhere in the world being ambushed and shot by attackers on motor bikes, doesn't it? An Italian CEO heads a nuclear engineering company that designs and builds nuclear power stations for overseas customers. In the past, the company has allegedly been involved in the twilight world of international arms and nuclear trafficking. A number of Iranian companies have reportedly cropped up recently in the city where that nuclear engineering firm is based, apparently to facilitate trade between Italian companies and Iran, in violation of the embargo. The CEO of the nuclear engineering company is ambushed by two assailants on a motor cycle and kneecapped, clearly as a message to somebody. And the obvious assailants are the resurrected Red Brigades, and their message is "Down With Capitalism"? Really? Aren't we jumping the gun a little bit here?