The director of Italy’s tax collection agency was nearly blinded when a letter bomb exploded last Friday. The letter was sent by the Italian anarchist group FAI (Informal Federation of Anarchy) the letter was detonated when it was opened by the director general. He was hospitalized with injuries to the face and hands.
“Cuccagna has undergone an operation. He was injured to the hand and face after the explosion blew up his glass desk,” stated Angelo Coco from Equitalia.
Shards of glass had to be removed from both eyes, and doctors were able to save his sight, despite the seriousness of the situation. They are still attending to the damage his hand sustained.
The anarchist group has been busy, with three explosions sent to the Swiss, Greek and Chiliean embassies last year at this time, a letter bomb similar to the one that exploded in Italy’s tax office, that was sent to a Deutsche bank (NYSE:DB) last Wednesday in Frankfurt that was safely disassembled, and police believe, based on the letter tucked into each of these bombs, promising three explosions, that one more attack may be out there. Where, is the issue now at hand and can another injury be avoided?
The FAI has been involved in attacks such as these as far back as 2003, when an attempted attack was made on Romano Prodi, the then European Commission president. It also claims responsibility for a bombing that injured two people back in April of this year, at the Swiss nuclear energy association, along with an attack on a Greek top security prison, and an Italian army barracks. In all of these attacks injuries were sustained.
These letter bombs, rigged to explode when opened, are designed to main, typically damage to the eyes and hands being the most immediate injuries. The letter sent to Germany was intercepted by routine mailroom examination, and was seen in the X-ray, enabling them to get to it before it was opened. The letter bomb was intended for Josef Ackermann, a German bank chief executive.
These types of attacks have existed for years. In the 60s and 70s deadly attacks were almost commonplace all across the European continent. Though in recent decades those attacks have been less, they are still happening. Most often Italy, Spain and Greece seem to get the majority of these extreme left wing and anarchist group attacks.
Tax hikes and spending cuts have been the order of business for Premier Mario Monti, who is hoping to help Italy with their financial crisis. It’s been the cause of outrage among the tax people, as tax evasion continues to be a problem the offices try to crack down on, possibly causing them to be the newest targets of the FAI.
Monti expressed solidarity with the Tax collection director, Cuccagna, who was injured, as did Italy’s president. “Equitalia has always done, and continues to do, its duty in full compliance with the law. It performs an essential role for the functioning of the state, without which it would be possible to provide services to citizens and their families.” Monti, is currently in Brussels for a European Union summit.