An anti-terror unit of the Turin police, Digos, found sophisticated weaponry and a “combat ready” missile at the house of the former senatorial candidate from the far-right Forza Nuova party, Fabio Del Bergiolo, on Monday. The police also found machine guns, rocket launchers, several handguns and grenades and Nazi memorabilia at different locations in northern Italy.
The police arrested Del Bergiolo and two others – Alessandro Monti, a Swiss national, and Fabio Bernardi. The biggest discovery in the raid was the nearly 3.5 meter-long Matra missile that was manufactured in France and used before by Qatar. According to the police, Monti and Bernardi were seeking to sell the missile, with Del Bergiolo as a middle man.
The weapons raid was partly an outcome of a year-long investigation on those Italians who had participated in the Ukrainian Civil War, collaborating with neo-fascist groups fighting the rebellion in Donbass. The Forza Nuova has been in the news in the past couple of years for anti-immigration and neo-Nazi rallies in Rome and other parts of the country.
The discovery of the weapons cache has sent shock waves across Italy, with even members of the ruling right-wing party Lega considering treating neo-Nazis as a veritable national security problem. Even though the Forza Nuova has never won elections and has only had a limited reach within Italy, right-wing nationalism has become mainstream over the past few years, with the rise of Lega to power. Lega itself has a very openly ultra-nationalist and anti-immigrant political stand.