Italian nuclear company boss wounded in shooting
GENOA - Agence France-Presse
Italian police carry out investigations at the site where Roberto Adinolfi, a 53-year-old nuclear engineer, was shot in Genoa on May 7, 2012. AFP photoA gunman shot and wounded the head of an Italian nuclear energy company on Monday in an incident reminiscent of militant attacks in the 1970s, with police saying anarchists could be responsible.
Roberto Adinolfi, a 53-year-old nuclear engineer, was followed by the gunman and shot in the ankle as he left his home in Genoa in northwest Italy.
The gunman then escaped on a motorbike with a second man waiting nearby.
Adinolfi, the head of Ansaldo Nucleare, part of aerospace and defence giant Finmeccanica, was rushed to hospital but his life is not in danger.
Security sources said the attack was similar to one of the first shootings by the far-left Red Brigades militant group, also against Ansaldo.
"Today it's as if they wanted to say. Let's start like we did 40 years ago," a security source was quoted by Italian news agency ANSA as saying.
The source said there was "major concern" that the shooting could be a signal for sleeper cells to carry out more attacks or spark copycat shootings.
Investigators were quoted by Italian media as saying they were also looking into possible links with the anarchist movement which is particularly strong in Genoa after recent calls by some anarchists for moves towards "armed action." Kneecapping was widely used by both far-right and far-left militants during Italy's "Years of Lead" when leading industrialists, politicians and trade unionists perceived as making compromises became targets.
"One of the versions we are working on is a terrorist one but we are also looking into other possible versions. For the moment there has been no claim of responsibility," Genoa prosecutor Michele Di Lecce told reporters.
Pier Luigi Bersani, head of the centre-left Democratic Party, said the attack was "a worrying sign of growing tensions and violence." "Light should be shed on this incident and democracy should be defended," Bersani said, adding that Italy "has already paid a heavy price in blood." Ansaldo Nucleare, which is part of aerospace and defence giant Finmeccanica, builds third-generation nuclear reactors and has recently won contracts in China, Romania and Slovakia even though Italy has no nuclear energy.
"Our colleague has been operated on and his condition is not particularly serious," said Alessandro Pansa, director general of Finmeccanica.
If this was confirmed as a politically-linked attack, Pansa said that would be "extremely serious" and "symptomatic of an extremely complex climate." Pansa said Finmeccanica would not allow itself to be "intimidated".
Former anti-corruption prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro, the leader of the Italy of Values party, said he considered "any terrorist or violent act to be criminal and an enemy of democracy and of workers." Fabrizio Cicchitto, a senior lawmaker from Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom party, said the shooting was "a very grave signal".