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Nato's Secret Armies

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Switzerland's Secret Armies

Despite its neutrality, a 1990 parliamentary investigation revealed a secret stay-behind army, code-named Special Service, then P26, operating within the Swiss military secret service Untergruppe Nachrichtendienst und Abwehr (UNA), during most of the Cold War.

Yet Switzerland experienced no terrorist attacks or coup threats throughout the period, so why the need for extremism. Parliamentary commission Senator Carlo Schmid said he "was shocked that something like this" went on, calling it "conspiratorial....like a black shadow."

A judicial investigation, headed by Judge Pierre Cornu, was charged to learn if Swiss neutrality was violated. Evidence confirmed that P26 cooperated closely with Britain's MI6 and other UK intelligence, concluding, however, that no Swiss laws were broken, whether or not true.

Belgium's Secret Armies

On November 7, 1990, socialist defense minister Guy Coeme told a national TV audience that a NATO-linked secret army operated covertly throughout the Cold War, adding:

"I want to know whether there exists a link between the activities of this secret network, and the wave of crime and terror which our country suffered from during the past years."

A parliamentary investigation followed, Belgium's Senate confirming that its secret army consisted of two branches, called SDRA8 and STC/Mob, the former a military unit within Belgium's military secret Service General du Renseignement (SGR) under the Defense Ministry. Its members were trained in unorthodox warfare, combat, sabotage, parachute jumping, and maritime operations.

STC/Mob was part of the civilian secret service - Surete de L'Etat (Surete), under the ministry of justice. Its members were technicians, trained in radio operations and intelligence gathering under enemy occupation conditions.

While senators obtained good information on the stay-behind armies' structure, they learned little about their involvement in terrorist operations, including so-called Brabant massacres from 1983 - 85, killing 28 and injuring many more. Despite exerting enormous pressure, they never got names of key operatives or who carried out the Brabant terror.

Netherlands' Secret Armies

Like Belgium, it had two branches, one called Operations (O for short), directed by Louis Einthoven, a staunch anti-communist, to carry out sabotage, guerrilla operations, and building a local resistance. The other was called Intelligence (or I), established post-WW II by JM Somer, but led by JJL Baron van Lynden, responsible for intelligence gathering and dissemination to those with a need to know.

Dutch parliamentarians weren't happy about keeping them out of the loop, but never ordered investigations into what clearly was an abuse of power.

Luxemburg's Secret Armies

On November 14, 1990, Luxemburg's Prime Minister Jacaques Santer told his parliament:

"all NATO countries in central Europe have taken part in these preparations, and Luxemburg could not have escaped this international solidarity," explaining that the Service de Renseignements (its secret service) ran the network in peacetime, but wasn't linked to terrorism or other abuses of power.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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For those interested in learning more about this t... by Walter L. Bradley Jr. on Wednesday, Sep 15, 2010 at 7:45:10 PM