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The CIA helps Greek antiterrorists

05 June 2013 / 18:06:44  GRReporter
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A special CIA department has been helping the Greek antiterrorist forces over the past 20 years. The team consists of 15 Greek and American intelligence officers who assist local authorities in detecting dangerous criminals and terrorists. The shock team participated in the uncovering of one of the most dangerous members of the terrorist organization "17 November", namely Dimitris Koufodinas. It helped the authorities to find the traces of Vasilis Paleokostas who had attempted to escape from prison by helicopter twice (one of the attempts being successful) and of the killers of two policemen near Rendi as reported by To Vima. In parallel, the same organization has been investigating suspects who may be connected with Al Qaeda in the region.

The Greek media call the group of American agents "the invisibles" and report that the U.S. Embassy in Athens partially funds it. The cooperation began in 1992-1993 after the Greek and American special intelligence forces mutually cooperated to apprehend terrorist Christoforos Marinos in Budapest in September 1991. At first, the office of the new service was near the Caravel Hotel in Athens. A commercial company serving as a ‘window’ of the special agents covered the service.

The American specialists had trained their Greek colleagues and provided them with special equipment to keep the suspects under observation. It turned out, however, that a political representative of the left "Sinaspismos" party had an office in the building, which housed the headquarters at first. He decided that the increased flow of local and foreign policemen was related to the observation of his actions and filed a formal complaint with the Ministry of Citizens Protection. "This is how the cover of the first office ‘burnt’", a senior Greek police officer told To Vima.

Subsequently, a "Special secret group for high-risk cases" (Ειδική Απόρρητη Ομάδα Υψηλών Απαιτήσεων και Επικινδυνότητας) has been formed. "There is a Greek in a command position in the Group who cooperates with an American counterpart of the same rank. Their meetings take place in the antiterrorist office but mainly in the offices of the CIA in Athens, where Greek policemen take specific orders. Costs of transport and cars and other costs are covered mainly by the Americans," the same source told the newspaper. According to him, the specific group has been involved in various actions but it has never achieved great success. The source also stresses for To Vima that the Greeks have been maintaining its existence to make the American officials think that they control the situation.

Tags: SocietyCrime newsCIAAthensGreeceAgentsTerrorists
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