Return of left-wing terrorism very much a reality for Greece

Return of left-wing terrorism very much a reality for Greece


By Lefteris Yallouros – Athens

Greek terrorists “Popular Fighters Group” assumed responsibility Tuesday of the attack on the residence of the German ambassador in Athens.

In a manifesto sent to an Athens weekly newspaper, the terrorists said the shooting attack December 30th was an attack in response to the crisis German – sponsored austerity has brought about.

The extremists, armed with a Kalashnikov, fired more than 50 bullets into the German ambassador’s residence. No one was hurt, but the ambassador could have easily been killed.

The same group had opened fire at the headquarters of Greece’s governing center-right New Democracy party near central Athens in Jan. 2013 in another attack that caused no injuries.

The group also claimed to have fired a rocket at the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz on the outskirts of the Greek capital on the night of Jan. 12, as part of a “campaign against the German capitalist machine.”

The Greek authorities, however, know nothing about such an attack.

The “Popular Fighters Group” called on Greeks to join them in their “anti-European, anti-capitalist campaign of armed attacks.”

Police is on red-alert for imminent terrorist attacks after Costas Sakkas – a suspected member of far-left militant group “Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei” – failed to check in with police Monday as required under the terms of his pre-trial release.

The “Conspirasy on Fire Nuclei” sent parcel bombs to European leaders and embassies and carried out arson and bomb attacks. Having found his fingerprints on objects seized at a Group safe house, Sakkas was charged with alleged membership in the outfit. He was released from a lengthy pre-trial detention in July 2013 after going on hunger strike.

With Sakkas missing and “17 November” gunman Christodoulos Xeros also on the loose having vanished on furlough from prison, police are looking to deter a new wave of terrorist attacks.

Authorities are also seeking Nikos Maziotis, the leader of another disbanded guerrilla organization, “Revolutionary Struggle” who is feared could team up with Xeros. Analysts also fear members of the old guard of terrorists such as Xeros are seeking to pass knowledge on about terror attacks and explosives to a new generation.

A resurgence of domestic terrorism would be a serious blow to the coalition government despite Public Order minister Nikos Dendias being appreciated as a minister with much success to show during his time in office especially in fighting crime in the center of Athens and dealing with illegal immigration.

In a separate operation, four Turkish men were also arrested in Athens and charged with terrorism-related offenses Tuesday. Greek police said one of them is also wanted by Turkish authorities for allegedly participating in a terrorist organization.