Milan police headquarters bombing

At 11am on 17 May 1973, a hand grenade was thrown at Milan's police headquarters in Lombardy, Italy.[1][2] It happened during a memorial ceremony there for police officer Luigi Calabresi, who had been shot dead in Milan a year earlier.[2] Four civilians were killed by the blast and 45 other people were injured.[1]

Milan police headquarters bombing
Part of Years of Lead
Strage Questura Milano.png
Some victims of the bombing
LocationMilan, Lombardy, Italy
Coordinates45°28′23″N 9°11′24″E / 45.4731426°N 9.1899608°E / 45.4731426; 9.1899608
Date17 May 1973
Attack type
AssailantGianfranco Bertoli

The attacker was Gianfranco Bertoli (30 April 1933 - 17 December 2000), who self-identified as an anarchist was later identified to be a long time informant for the Italian military intelligence service, that he had long maintained links with various anti‐communist and neo‐fascist organizations linked to the Operation Gladio stay behind network as part of the strategy of tension.[3][2] He was arrested at the scene[4] and in 1975 was convicted in relation to the attack and sentenced to life imprisonment.[5] The attack was denounced by various anarchist organizations including Italian Anarchist Federation in a press release almost instantly.[6]


  1. ^ a b Terrorists 'helped by CIA' to stop rise of left in Italy
  2. ^ a b c Anarchist seized in blast in Milan
  3. ^ Bale, Jeffrey M. (1996-03-01). "The may 1973 terrorist attack at Milan police HQ: Anarchist 'propaganda of the deed' or 'false‐flag' provocation?". Terrorism and Political Violence. 8 (1): 132–166. doi:10.1080/09546559608427337. ISSN 0954-6553.
  4. ^ Sobel, Lester A. (1975). Political terrorism. Vol. 1. Facts on File. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-87196-232-4.
  5. ^ Britannica Book of the Year, 1976. Encyclopedia Britannica. 1976. p. 441.
  6. ^ "Freedom Vol. 34 No. 24" (PDF). 16 June 1973.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)