On the night of 27 December 2003, five men broke into a huge, empty office complex in Rome, just south of the city’s main railway station, Roma Termini. A few days earlier, the men had put up fake fliers, appealing to the public for help to find a lost black cat called “Pound”. It was a way to avoid suspicion as they surveyed the building before breaking in. Nothing was left to chance: the date, between Christmas and New Year, was chosen because there wouldn’t be many people around. Even the name and colour of the cat wasn’t casual: “Pound” was a nod to the American poet and fascist evangelist Ezra Pound. And black was the colour associated with their hero, Benito Mussolini. They planned to start a radio station from inside their new building called Radio Bandiera Nera – “Black Flag Radio”. The man giving orders that night was Gianluca Iannone. Then 30, he was tall, burly and brusque. With his shaved head and thick beard, he looked a bit like a Hells Angel. He had “me ne frego” (“I don’t care” – the slogan used by Mussolini’s troops) tattooed diagonally across the left side of his neck. Iannone… Read full this story
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