Red Brigades

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Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse) is a terrorist group located in Italy.


Formed in 1969, the Marxist-Leninist BR seeks to create a revolutionary state through armed struggle and to separate Italy from the Western Alliance. In 1984 split into two factions: the Communist Combatant Party (BR-PCC) and the Union of Combatant Communists (BR-UCC).


Original group concentrated on assassination and kidnapping of Italian Government and private-sector targets; it kidnapped and murdered former Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978. [Extreme leftist sympathizers have carried out several small-scale terrorist attacks to protest the presence and foreign policies of both the United States and NATO, ] kidnapped US Army Brig. Gen. James Dozier in 1981, and claimed responsibility for murdering Leamon Hunt, US chief of the Sinai Multinational Force and Observer Group, in 1984. The group had been largely inactive since Italian and French authorities arrested many of its members in 1989. [With limited resources and followers to carry out major terrorist acts, the group is mostly out of business.]


Probably fewer than 50, plus an unknown number of supporters.

Location/Area of Operation

Based and operates in Italy. Some members probably living clandestinely in other European countries.

External Aid

Currently unknown; original group apparently was self-sustaining but probably received weapons from other Western European terrorist groups and from the PLO.

source: Terrorist Group Profiles, Dudley Knox Library, Naval Postgraduate School