Forensics: DNA

With the exception of red blood cells, every cell in your body has DNA. We are constantly shedding DNA in various forms; skin cells, hair, saliva, blood, and sweat are all sources of DNA. Variations in genetic code are used to identify individuals.

Police have DNA databases for comparison purposes, often obtained during arrests or as part of sentencing. DNA has been used for identification purposes since 1985, and is often treated as a 'gold standard' during trial. DNA found at a crime scene may be partial or 'mixed' - not all samples are sufficient to make a comparison, but the required amount is decreasing with technological advancements.

See blabladn for a comprehensive overview of the DNA forensics literature, and the DNA topic.

Used in tactics: Incrimination


Name Description
Careful action planning

Every step of the plan can be rehearsed with an eye to minimizing DNA traces at the site of the action. This can involve, for example; securing your hair under a hat, cutting any fence holes large enough to pass through without touching the metal, ensuring that any delays on the incendiary device has a backup and has worked as expected in tests conducted under similar conditions (temperature, etc), that surfaces at the action site aren't touched if they don't need to be, that action site surfaces that need to be interacted with (like a door handle) are touched by someone following DNA minimization protocols, and that nothing will be left behind accidentally like a bag, tool, or anything falling out of a pocket.

DNA minimization protocols

DNA minimization protocols are intended to enable the manipulation of objects without leaving DNA traces. As you would expect, these protocols aim to eliminate skin cells, hair, saliva particles, blood and sweat from making contact with the objects. DNA destruction via chemicals can also be implemented.


Gloves can prevent leaving DNA traces on objects that you touch.

Used in repressive operations

Name Description
Scripta Manent

DNA traces were used to convict Alfredo Cospito[1].

Mauvaises intentions

During police custody, DNA was collected from the comrades' clothes and from plastic cups[2]. In one case, only nine hours elapsed between the collection of a DNA trace in custody and the result of its comparison with another trace previously collected.

The accusations against one comrade were based on a match between his DNA and DNA traces collected on the site of an attempted arson against the electrical cabinet. DNA traces were collected both from a latex glove found nearby and from a bottle inside the cabinet - which did not catch fire because of a failed delay.

The accusations against other comrades were based on a match between their DNA and DNA traces collected from a cigarette that was used as a delay for an incendiary device - the delay failed and the device was found intact below the police tow truck.

Nea Filadelphia case

The accusations against several comrades were based on a match between their DNA taken by force during custody and DNA traces found on 'mobile objects' near the robberies[3].


The accusation against Peppe was based on a match between DNA traces found inside the parcel bomb and his DNA collected from a cigarette butt during the investigation[4].


DNA traces were the only evidence against one of the accused comrades[5].


DNA traces were used to convict the comrade accused of arsoning an ATM[6].


After being arrested and imprisoned, the comrade accused of the explosive attack against the 'Lega Nord' Treviso headquarters refused DNA collection[7]. Some time after his refusal, prison guards searched his cell and covertly replaced a comb with another one, presumably to obtain the comrade's DNA from hairs on the comb they took.

2019-2020 case against Mónica and Francesco

Francesco's DNA was alledgedly found on the parcel bomb that was sent to the ex-Minister of Interior, which was defused and didn't explode[8].

Repression against Zündlumpen

The only clue against one suspected editor of the newspaper is that their DNA was found on a cigarette butt in the print shop raided in April 2022[9].

Repression of Lafarge factory sabotage

In one of the initial raids, cops insisted that those who were under arrest wear surgical masks to protect against Covid, and those arrested accepted. The cops later retrieved the masks for DNA collection[10].

Repression of the first Jane's Revenge arson

In May 2022, DNA traces were collected from several items found by investigators on the crime scene, including from a broken window, a glass jar, a lighter, and an intact Molotov cocktail[11]. In March 2023, cops saw the comrade who would later be arrested discard a brown paper bag containing a partially eaten burrito in a public trash. DNA traces collected from the contents of the bag matched the traces collected from the crime scene.