Gladio (Spain)

Country: Spain
Details of Formation: --
Details of Termination: --
Purpose: The PGM was intended to defend Western Europe in case of an invasion by Warsaw Pact forces.
Organisation: According to a report, the PGM was organised by the CIA in cooperation with parts of the Spanish secret services.
Weapons and Training: It is reported that there was some training which was comprised mainly of guerilla tactics.
Size: --
Reason for Membership: --
Treatment of Civilians: The group has been linked to the Atocha massacre in which five civilians died.
Other Information: The network of groups may have some semi-official status within the intelligence community. But this status is not recognized but 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 Warsaw Pact. Spain became an official member of NATO in 1982, but unofficial contacts had taken place much earlier. A base was set up in 1948 in Las Palmas on the Canary Islands, which was run by US instructors. Other bases were located in Madrid, Barcelona and San Sebastián. The Spanish secret army had taken part in a stay-behind exercise commanded by US forces in Bavaria, Germany, in March 1973. There was cooperation with Gladio in Italy and the group was involved in a joint action in the Atocha massacre, in which five lawyers closely linked to the Spanish Communist party were killed.
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD.

Wikipedia. “Operation Gladio.”