Red Brigades




    Brigate Rosse flag.jpg


    Status: Dormant
    AKA: Armed Communist Combatants, Brigate Rosse - Partido Comunista Combattante, Fighting Communist Nuclei, New Red Brigades for the Construction of the Fighting, Communist Party, Red Brigades, Red Brigades - Communist Combatant Nuclei, The New Red Brigades
    Formed: 1984
    Areas of Operation: Italy, Rome, Spain
    Ideology: Political (Communist-Marxist-Leninist)
    Group: < 20 members
    Affiliates: Anti-Capitalist Territorial Nuclei for the Construction of the Communist Combatant Party (NTA-PCC), Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), Nuclei of the Proletarian Revolution, Proletarian Nuclei for Communism

    Organizational History

    The Red Brigades – Communist Combatant Party (BR-PCC) aims to mount a proletarian opposition to the Capitalist bourgeoisie government in Italy. The group considers striking at the “heart of the state” as the most effective means of weakening that state. Group actions are committed with the additional goal of creating class awareness of the oppression created by the government, and to show that there is an alternative to state control.

    The BR-PCC is ideologically similar to the original Red Brigades, who were active during the 1970s and 80s, espousing a Marxist-Leninist philosophy. The BR-PCC does not view the communist struggle as solely a domestic issue, even though the bulk of their force is concentrated on Italy. Rather it views the communist struggle and the oppression of the working class as a common element linking them with other movements, which explains their extensive relationships with other terrorist groups.

    Following the dissolution of the original Red Brigades, remnants of the Italian communist movement remained active in their designs to overthrow the government in favor of a proletarian-based system. The new Red Brigades-Communist Combatant Party was formed in 1984 by Antonio De Luca, Simonetta Giergogieri, and Nicholas Bortone. Effectively modeling itself after its predecessor, the BR-PCC was a mix of old and new. The same tactics were advocated by the group, but some members were from a newer generation. The new Red Brigades did not commit its first attack until 1992, under the Fighting Communist Nuclei (NCC). It was not discovered until 2003 that the NCC was simply an alias of the new Red Brigades; original NCC documents and claims of credit were found in a Red Brigades hideout in Rome. After numerous arrests of group members and leaders, the group’s operational effectiveness was seriously impacted. The group never officially disbanded so it is unknown whether or not they will ever have a resurgence of activities.


    The group has a cellular structure. It is led by a “strategic directorate” most likely composed of older members who were either directly involved with the original Red Brigades or active in the periphery. Each cell consists of no more than 2 or 3 members, some of whom have turned out to be roommates, using their houses or apartments as headquarters for activity in a particular area. Italian media has reported the existence of group columns, similar to the structure of paramilitary-style terrorist organizations. However, a column structure typically belongs to rural-based groups able to operate over large swaths of territory; therefore it may be a misnomer.


    In 2003, Italian police conducted a raid on a hideout used by the BR-PCC and found 100 kilograms of explosives, 200 detonators, and other supplies to support the group’s terrorist activities. [2] Most authorities believe the group does not have a large arsenal, although the explosives cache discovery would indicate otherwise. Most explosives used by the group are homemade, and are constructed with common ingredients such as ammonia-based cleaners and gasoline. They have also been known to use various firearms in order to carry out assassinations and other armed assaults.


    Besides the use of personal funds, which is prevalent, armed robberies are a major means of financing the organization’s activities. The BR-PCC is believed to have committed a robbery as recently as February 2003, in Florence. Interestingly, notes and computer files confiscated in 2003 demonstrate the thought and detail put into robberies, referred to by group members as “expropriations.” Among the items used by the group to conceal their identities are: hair dye (white, bleach blonde), false teeth, Mohawk-style hairpieces, and even phials of fake blood.


    Group members conduct ideological operations at places where people of similar ideological persuasion congregate, such as social centers and political circles, to recruit new members. These targeted groups have in the past included Linea Rossa (Red Line), Associazione Italia-Cuba Nera (Italy-Black Cuba Association), and Casa dello studente occupata Nettuno (Neptune Occupied Student House). Other places where the group has been known to recruit are places where members work.


    Primary targets are Italian politicians and businessmen, especially those designated as high-ranking labor, economic, and foreign policy officials. While the group has only identified the Italian government and political system as its main ideological enemy, members are vehemently anti-American and anti-NATO, both of which are seen as Capitalist forces. The group has also shown interest in targeting the labor sector. Plans found in the possession of one BR-PCC member contained a list of places including Italian Confederation of Trade Unions (CISL), Italian Federation of Trade Unions (UIL), General Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria), and the headquarters of Federmeccanica, and structures such as temporary-employment agencies (“Obiettivo Lavoro”) and socioeconomic organizations. Most of the targets are located in Rome, Florence, and Emilia Romagna. [3]



    Renato Curcio.png

    Renato Curcio, founder of the Red Brigades. [4]

    James Dozier.jpg

    Kidnapped U.S. General James Dozier holding a large piece of paper with slogans from the Red Brigades. [5]

    Red Brigades Members in Jail.png

    Renato Curcio, and other members of the Red Brigades, being held. [6] 

    Aldo Moro - Killed by Red Brigades.jpg

    Aldo Moro, the former Italian prime minister, was kidnapped and killed by the Red Brigades in 1978. [7]


    BR People.png

    The evolution of the Red Brigades. [8] 


    Aldo Moro's body.png

    The body of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was found in Rome on May 9, 1978. [9]



    1. Jenkins, J. Red Brigades. Retrieved on June 22, 2011 from [1]
    2. Castelfranco, S. (2003, December 21). SLUG: 2-311084 Italy Red Brigades (L-O). Retrieved from [2]
    3. Fusani, C. (2004, May 21). Italian Investigators Find Red Brigade Documents Listing Further Targets. Rome La Repubblica. FBIS translated text, document ID: EUP20040521000048
    4. Gennaro, A. Renato Curcio, niente pensione. Politica Live. Retrieved on June 22, 2011 from [3]
    5. James Dozier Holding Sign. Corbis Images. Retrieved on June 22, 2011 from [4]
    6. Processo contro 14 appartenenti alle... l'Unità. Retrieved on June 22, 2011 from [5]
    7. Moore, M. (2008, March 11). US envoy admits role in Aldo Moro killing. The Telegraph. Retrieved on June 22, 2011 from [6]
    8. L'albero genealogico delle Brigate Rosse. (2007, February 13). archivio '900. Retrieved on June 22, 2011 from [7]
    9. Murder of Aldo Moro. History of the World. Retrieved on June 22, 2011 from [8]