Greek Package Bomb Sent to Schaeuble Was On Passenger Jet

French police officers take position after letter bomb exploded at the French office of the International Monetary Fund, lightly injuring one person, Thursday March 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

ATHENS – A package bomb mailed from Greece to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was sent on a commercial flight, police officials said.

Germany is the biggest contributor to 326 billion euros ($350.76 billion) in three bailouts but has demanded harsh austerity measures in return, angering Greeks.

The terrorist group Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire claimed responsibility and the newspaper Kathimerini said it was done by recruiting new members who contacted jailed leaders of the group held in a maximum security prison where visits are reportedly unsupervised.

Police officials told the paper that the bomb was put on a passenger jet from Athens to Frankfurt as Greece’s post office ELTA blamed a contractor at the international airport for the lapse. Another sent to the offices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Paris exploded.

The agency is one of the country’s international lenders and also is pushing the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA coalition of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to hit workers, pensioners and the poor with more Draconian measures as the rich, politicians and tax cheats escape a seven-year-long economic crisis.

“Police officers were involved in an investigation, together with ELTA and the company which carries out the checks at the airport to establish what went wrong,” Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas told SKAI TV earlier.

Reports indicated both package bombs were similar, both comprising small amounts of gunpowder.

The parcel bombs sent last week to Berlin and Paris were dispatched by new members of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire who were recruited by jailed members of the guerrilla group, the Greek police’s (ELAS) counter-terrorism department said.

According to a police investigation, the new recruits manufactured the crude explosive devices and sent them from post boxes in central Athens – rather than branches of Hellenic Post (ELTA) which have surveillance cameras.

The convicted members of the guerrilla group in Attica’s high-security Korydallos Prison have access to the Internet and cellphones, and are permitted to give interviews, thus broadening their circle of influence, a source at ELAS said.

The prison wings where the terrorists are kept are not properly guarded and there is no supervision of visitors to the convicts, a source at ELAS’s counter-terrorism unit told Kathimerini.