In the early 1980s suspicions that the Maltese group Front Freedom Fighters was being funded by anti-Communist entities close to the CIA were covertly communicated to the British Foreign Office, recently declassified documents reveal.

“The FFF is believed to have about 500 supporters. It is neo-Fascist in character and its apparent aim is violence, similar to that used by underground organisations in other countries,” the documents say.

The FFF had originally been set up as Friends of Josie Muscat; a campaign aimed at securing his seat in the third district on the Nationalist ticket.

The documents explained how the Front “distracts [then PN leader] Eddie Fenech Adami and the more responsible of the Nationalist Party leaders from their main task of opposition at a time when they should be concentrating on that”.

The conflict between the FFF and the PN came to a head when a motion  declaring the FFF had “political tendencies against those of the PN” was eventually approved by the party’s executive committee on July 15, 1983. The party distanced itself from the FFF’s publication Ir-Rieda, and even barred party members from any association with the Front.

A “rumour” that the PN suspected the group was possibly behind a number of local bomb explosions and threats, “not only against Malta Labour Party but also against Nationalists”, was also reported by the British High Commission.

Contacted for his reaction, Dr Muscat laughed off the claims.

“I haven’t had such a good laugh in ages. If we were linked to bombings and this kind of stuff do you think we would have been able to roam the streets?” he said. Dr Muscat said the organisation was mostly limited to political debating and had never even come close to any form of violence.

“If this is the intelligence the British had on Malta, then there wasn’t much intelligence,” he said.

His denial is mirrored by Dr Fenech Adami, who in his autobiography Eddie, My Journey.

Dr Muscat also denied having any links to any anti-Communist organisations, and of having travelled to meet the CIA.

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