Historical Social Research

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  • Ab. 38.1
Tobias Hof: The Moro Affair – Left-Wing Terrorism and Conspiracy in Italy in the Late 1970s.  [Abstract]

Shortly after the left-wing terrorist group Red Brigades kidnapped the former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro in March 1978 numerous conspiracy theories began to spread. At the core of many of these theories was – and still is – the belief that the Red Brigades were controlled by a foreign power. The headquarters of Italian left-wing terrorism was suspected everywhere but home. In the following article Tobias Hof describes the evolution and the different bearers of these theories and addresses their functional character by analyzing possible motives for injecting them into the public discourse. He shows how different groups from the far left to the far right of the political spectrum used conspiracy theories to de-legitimize the political opponent or legitimize their own policy in relation to the Moro abduction. The Moro murder case shines the clearest light on the triad of terrorism – conspiracy – and anti-terrorism policy in Italy in the late 1970s.