He was arrested and tried for helping to organize the so-called Week of the Barricades, which turned to bloody rioting. He fled to southern France during a court recess and later to Spain, where he joined the Secret Army Organization, an underground band of right-ring military and civilian extremists that used terrorism tactics to fight against Algerian independence.
Raoul Salan, the group’s commander, was a highly decorated French general who had turned against de Gaulle and participated in a failed military coup in Algeria in April 1961. Paul Henissart wrote in his book “Wolves in the City: The Death of French Algeria” (1970) that Mr. Susini regarded Mr. Salan as a “tactician rather than a strategist,” who was better at exploiting circumstances than creating them.
“This seemed a welcome state of affairs to Susini, whose limitless ambition was to create, himself, an entirely new set of circumstances, as part of what he believed was a revolution,” Mr. Henissart wrote.
When Mr. Salan was captured in Algiers nearly a year later, The New York Times reported that Mr. Susini was believed to control of “a number of terrorist groups operating against Moslems in the streets of the city. He is believed to be the exponent of the most ruthless wing of the organization.”
Mr. Susini was a compelling speaker and propagandist for the Secret Army, as well as a staunch advocate of bombings and murders to preserve French control of Algeria.
“We sought to mobilize the population and the army for a new coup,” he said, according to an English translation of an interview he gave in 2008 to the French journalist François Malye. “To convince them that his time we can succeed, we must appear in the eyes of all as an army of fighters, a revolutionary party capable — there are precedents — to change the course of history.”
Skinny and fair-haired, Mr. Susini was described by a United Press International…