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Defense Minister Orders Inquiry Into Secret Guerrilla Network

November 19, 1990

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ The Defense Ministry today ordered an inquiry into a secret agreement between the military and the CIA that set up a guerrilla network in case of a Soviet invasion.

Current and former government officials have said the agreement was made in 1955.

Members of the Greece’s conservative government and of the former socialist administration have said the network essentially went out of business in 1974 and was dismantled by 1988.

Reports from other countries indicate the secret network extended to most NATO members during the Cold War. It has become known commonly as Operation Gladio, the name of its Italian version.

Leftist parties in Greece have denounced the secret agreement, and they demand to know whether the network was ever used for clandestine activities in times of peace.

The Defense Ministry said an investigation ″was deemed necessary because of the commotion which was created and is continuing, and the different views being expressed concerning the aims of the agreement and the way in which it was implemented,″ the semi-official Athens News Agency reported.

Radio stations reported that the inquiry will be led by a retired military officer.

Current and former U.S. officials have said the CIA helped organize guerrilla units in Western Europe in preparation for a possible Soviet invasion but had nothing to do with them after the 1950s.

The Italian Parliament is investigating the network in that country, and according to testimony the Italian participants trained at a U.S. base in 1972.

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