WASHINGTON — The CIA today denied involvement in Italian terrorism and the assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme as investigations into allegations of the agency's role got under way in Sweden and Italy.
"The allegations . . . regarding involvement in terrorist activities in Italy or the Palme assassination are absolute nonsense," CIA spokesman Peter Earnest said in a phone call to Reuters.
The CIA denied claims made by an Oregon businessman named Dick Brenneke, who said on Italian state television this month that the U.S. spy agency backed the P-2 Masonic Lodge in committing terrorist acts in Italy.
The television reports said another purported ex-CIA operative maintained that P-2 got CIA support for the Palme assassination.
"The agency flatly denies that Mr. Brenneke was ever an agent of the CIA or had any association with the CIA," Earnest said. "We repeat this public denial because of the outrageous nature of his claims."