They were to 'stay behind' if the Red Army overran Western Europe. Operating from secret hideouts behind enemy lines, they were to organise armed national resistance against the occupying Soviet forces.
Recruited and trained by the CIA and MI-6 and coordinated by NATO, Europe’s secret army was the most ambitious covert operation to defend democracy since the Second World War. But over time the top-secret stay-behind network set up by Britain and the United States in almost 20 European countries became involved in just the opposite: fixing elections, political assassinations, coups against democratically elected governments, and in what can only be described as acts of terrorism, which cost the lives of hundreds of Europeans. The story of Europe’s stay-behind network with names like GLADIO in Italy or SDRA8 in Belgium is one of the most powerfully hidden secrets of recent American and European history.
NATO’S SECRET ARMIES examines three major terror attacks: The Brabant massacres in Belgium, The Oktoberfest bombing in Germany and the Piazza Fontana killings in Italy. Through the testimony of former terrorists, Gladio, exCIA agents, diplomats, prosecutors and police investigators the film piecestogether the disturbing trail of influence behind each of the attacks andconsiders whether hundreds may have died at the hands of state sponsoredterrorism. More chillingly, it asks whether the strategy of tension mightstill be in use today.