Arrests in Italian Kneecapping Case
On May 7, the firm’s manager, Roberto Adinolfi was shot from behind in the back of the leg near his home by an assailant wearing a motorcycle helmet. Adinolfi, a father of three who had never considered a bodyguard, managed to recall the licence plate of the scooter as his two attackers sped away. Police found the stolen scooter ditched in the centre of Genoa a few hours later and also recovered a cartridge from the Tokarev 7.62 used in the attack. The gun has still not been recovered, but police were able to identify the attackers by studying Genoa CCTV films, specifically several tape images from near a train station, where the two took off their helmets as they neared.
In a press conference Friday, Genoa prosecutors maintained the two responsible are Nicola Gai, 35 who works in a small family print shop, and Alfredo Cospito, 46. They were arrested in a blitz Friday morning after wiretapped conversations led police to believe they were planning to flee the country. In other wiretapped conversations, the two worried openly about the possibility that cops might find the “pistolone,” which investigators believe referred to the Tokarev. Authorities say the two were actively involved in the Informal Anarchist Federation (in Italian, the Federazione Anarchica Informale or FAI), a loose group of Greek and Italian activists who claimed responsibility for the Genoa attack in a letter sent to an Italian newspaper. In recent years, FAI’s actions have grown increasingly bold, from street clashes to vandalization to rudimentary letter bombs and more sophisticated parcel bombs.
The attack against Adinolfi had been in the works since 2009, police said Friday. The bold hit in broad daylight was one of several events that raised concerns about a resurgence of terrorism and prompted the Italian Interior Ministry to increase security around 400 sensitive locations, including defence conglomerate Finmeccanica, as well as dozens of business managers, university officials and others considered “at risk”.
The attack against Adinolfi had been in the works since 2009, police said Friday. While prosecutors said they believe the two acted alone, Cospito’s 40-year-old companion is also under investigation and raids were still being carried out Friday in the Italian cities of Bordighera (where she and Cospito own a house) as well as Cuneo and Pistoia. Prime Minister Mario Monti and Adinolfi both released statements expressing appreciation to police and investigators from both Genoa and Turin. At Saturday’s first hearing, lawyers representing the two released no public statements.