Italian police appeared to have struck an important blow against resurgent left-wing guerrillas, arresting six suspected Red Brigades members in a crackdown that may establish links with terrorist groups in France, West Germany and Spain, police reports said Friday.
Among the six arrested was New York-born Ellen Codd, a longtime resident of Italy. She was the first American citizen allegedly involved in Italian political terrorism.
Four of the six were arrested in Rome and Turin. Codd and Italian Mario Pisano were arrested near the Italian-French border as they returned from a months-long visit to Spain, police said. They refused to reveal exactly when the arrests took place.
Judge Domenico Sica, Italy’s top anti-terrorist investigator, was interrogating the six in Rome. They were charged with membership in an armed gang and complicity in the March 20 assassination in Rome of Gen. Licio Giorgieri, a Defense Ministry official in charge of procuring and developing sophisticated weaponry for the Italian air force.
The ambush killing of Giorgieri was claimed by the Combatant Communist Units, a Red Brigades group known by its Italian acronym, UCC, which has been reviving terrorist activity in Italy in recent months.
Police sources said the American woman was believed to have close links with Direct Action, a left-wing terrorist organization in France, and with West German terrorist groups.