Gladio (Italy)

Country: Italy
Details of Formation: The group was set up as early as 1947 with help from the CIA and British intelligence.
Details of Termination: The group was discovered and exposed by an Italian judge in 1990, causing shock waves around Europe.
Purpose: The group was intended as a fighting force prepared to counter a possible Warsaw Pact invasion. In this case, it was meant to conduct guerilla warfare and sabotage activities.
Organisation: The PGM was coordinated by NATO and run by the Italian secret intelligence service in close cooperation with the CIA and British Secret Intelligence Service.
Weapons and Training: The group trained with the US Green Berets and the British Special Air Services (SAS) and was equipped from underground arms caches. In Italy there was a training base in Sardinia.
Size: --
Reason for Membership: Military personnel and civilians were both targeted for recruitment.
Treatment of Civilians: --
Other Information: There was a training base in Sardinia and 139 arms caches were buried around Italy. There were possible but unconfirmed links to a secret masonic lodge type organization called P-2 who counted cabinet ministers, MPs and military officers as members. The PGM was accused of orchestrating a series of bombings attributed to Italian left-wing parties. The network of groups may have some semi-official status within the intelligence community. But this status was instead hidden even from some domestic governments and prime ministers. The groups were ultimately answerable to NATO-CIA rather than to domestic governments in event of attack by members of the Warsaw Pact.
References: Ganser, Daniele. 2006. “The Ghost of Machiavelli: An Approach to Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Cold War Italy” Crime Law and Social Change 45(2): 111 – 154.

Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD.

Wikipedia. Operation Gladio.