Beset by repeated sieges from anarchists, Greece is most likely to face the constant threat of violence directed against the state and other targets by left-wing groups, the European police agency Europol said in its annual Terrorism Situation and Trend (TESAT) report.
While Spain and Italy also appeared on the list to a lesser extent, it was Greece which continued to be mostly plagued by leftist violence, which critics said is because it’s being condoned and even implicitly encouraged by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ Radical Left SYRIZA in an attempt to curry favor with extreme elements after surrendering to international creditors to get a third bailout, this one for 86 billion euros ($100.34 billion) in 2015.
The agency said that, “left-wing and anarchist terrorist groups and individuals continued to have enhanced operational capabilities and access to military-grade weapons” in Greece in 2017, during which a total of eight attacks were carried out, not including scores of others led by the rampaging group Rouvikonas which weren’t counted.
Rouvikonas has even gone after offices of SYRIZA, once a darling of the anarchists and whose party is still riddled with terrorist and extreme-left and violence sympathizers, unless it’s directed at them.
Those eight attacks account for a third of a total of 24 left-wing attributed attacks in the EU last year – a downward shift from a sharp spike to 27 attacks in 2016 from 13 the year before that, Kathimerini said in a report.
The Greek urban guerrilla group Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire was also behind a letter-bomb campaign against foreign targets in 2017 that resulted in the injury of an employee at the Paris office of the International Monetary Fund.
Another explosive-packed parcel addressed to Germany’s then finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, was intercepted in Berlin with Europol noting a similar package bomb injured former interim Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.
The TESAT report also referred to two more left-wing terror groups active in Greece: Revolutionary Self-Defense Organization and Group of Popular Fighters although there are scores of smaller groups that have been mostly inert in recent years but never dismantled by police.
The two active groups carried out two identical attacks in 2017, shooting at police officers guarding the offices of the former PASOK party in Exarchia, downtown Athens and planting makeshift bombs in central Athens, at the offices of Eurobank and the Court of Appeals.
Europol said of 36 suspects arrested in the European Union in 2017 in connection with left-wing terrorism 12 were in Greece, including nine Turkish nationals suspected of membership in the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).
Those arrests, according to the European police, are an indication that DHKP-C members “maintained a fixed structure on EU soil that provides logistical and financial support for terrorist activities in Turkey.”
In Greece, as in Italy, the report said, “the anarchist extremist milieu is considered to be an antechamber to terrorism, in the sense that it provides fertile ground for radicalization and recruitment.”
The report said, while groups in Greece and Italy continued to claim they comprise an international network they call Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), “There appears to be no operational cooperation or coordination other than the exchange of solidarity messages via a number of anarchist websites.”