Brabant Massacres

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Event.png Brabant Massacres 
Brabant Massacres.jpg
Date 13 March 1982 - 9 November 1985
Location Brabant,  Belgium
Perpetrators Westland New Post?,  Operation Gladio?
Type • Serial killing
• mass shootings
• robberies
Deaths 28
Injured (non-fatal) 40
Description A set of murders between 1982 and 1985, in which 28 people died and 40 were injured. It became Belgium's most notorious unpunished crime spree.

The Brabant Massacres were a spree of murderous robberies, not apparently motivated by financial gain as much as the desire to panic people. Allan Francovich's 1992 film on Operation Gladio suggests that it may have been connected to the Westland New Post, a Belgian group founded by Paul Latinus.[1]

Belgian Gladio

Some have suggested that Operation Gladio was activated in Belgium, as in Italy, to try to subdue the popularity of communists. One difference was however that, in contrast to the bombings and other violence in Italy, the Brabant Massacres were never explicitly blamed on communists.[citation needed]

Connections to SDRA8

The last attack when the gang struck despite patrols checking the supermarket every twenty minutes led to rumours of them having some kind of inside knowledge and possibly complicity by individual Gendarmerie in the attacks. Gendarmerie vehicles (which had an Uzi in a compartment) were present approximately 100 meters away, but failed to engage or pursue the attackers. The Belgian stay-behind network Gladio/SDRA8 — operating under the control of the Belgian General Information and Security Service was suggested by some to have links to the gang.

Francovich's Film

Full article: Operation Gladio (film)

Allan Francovich's 1992 film on Operation Gladio looked at suggested the Brabant Massacres may have been connected to Westland New Post, a small private Belgian anti-communist organization whose leader Paul Latinus states that he was working with government agencies in a Gladio-like arrangement. In Francovich's interviews some WNP members (including some Gendarmerie) recall being ordered in the early eighties to covertly spy on and compile a report on the security arrangements at various Belgian supermarkets, including ones of a large chain that was the main target of the later killings. NATO behind-the-lines units are known to have used the planning of robberies as a theoretical exercise for training.[2][3][4][4] [5][6]

Michel Libert, the former no. 2 of Westland New Post has admitted that passing on orders to covertly assess supermarket security, though he has denied knowing anything more of the matter. Specifically, he insisted that Paul Latinus never told him of the purpose of these assignments.[3][4][4] [5][7][8][9] [9][10]

In 1983 Libert had been staying with Marcel Barbier, a WNP member, when he was arrested for using a weapon in a street fight and became suspected of a double murder at a synagogue a year earlier. When police then began investigating WNP, Latinus told them that Barbier and another WNP member were behind the synagogue murders, and that Latinus had helped Barbier getting rid of the murder weapon and other relevant evidence. Barbier was the only person convicted for these murders, his co-accused who was acquitted, but later convicted of a similar double murder of diamond merchants, appeared in a Belgian TV program in 2014, where he alleged WNP was behind the Brabant killings based on WNP apparently having compiled information on the premises raided. Libert was arrested as a suspect soon after the program was broadcast, but released without charge after 48 hours.[3][4][4] [5][7][8][9] [9][10]

Parliamentary inquiry denies connections

The Belgian parliamentary inquiry into Gladio suggested that they found no "substantive" evidence that Gladio had committed any acts of "terrorism", or that criminal groups had infiltrated the stay-behind network.[11][12] The Belgian Gendarmerie were abolished in reforms that came as a result of a perceived lack of satisfactory performance in the case of the Brabant Massacres, and that of Marc Dutroux.[13]  

Event

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EventDate
Brabant Massacres13 March 1982 - 9 November 1985


References