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The expert: The next terrorists’ step will be more dangerous

05 November 2010 / 18:11:57  GRReporter
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Mary Bossi is a political science specialist, assistant professor in International Security at the University of Piraeus and PhD at the Faculty of International Relations, Democritus University of Thrace. She is the author of many books and articles on terrorism, international security and international relations. In a conversation with Anastasia Balezdrova she drew the profile of the members of the groups that are behind the parcel bombs and warned that their subsequent actions will be even more dangerous.

What does the term ‘left terrorism’ mean? Is it present in Greece today?

I would like to point out that the terrorism we are speaking about can not be defined as ‘left terrorism’. ‘Left terrorism’ in Greece ended in the early 90s. New groups appeared in the middle and the end of the same decade and one of the first things they did was to state that they denied the term ‘left terrorism’. They opposed concepts such as socialism, Marxism, Leninism, Maoism and all similar ideologies. This chapter is closed. Moreover, these groups have opposed and still oppose - in recent years even more - the concepts of democracy, state capital, banks and organizations. They disagree with a number of things, but do not clarify what their ideology is. I should note the existence of many and different views which they provide us in the texts they write and the discussions they held, but there is no ideology. So, we could say there is confusion concerning the new views of these organizations.

What is their purpose?

They often use terms like ‘revolution’ and ‘war against the state’ and they wanted to mobilize society to overthrow the government at least initially. Once they have understood, however, that society does not intend to follow them they decided to become the innovators to implement this idea alone. We see, specifically in the case of parcel bombs, that their desire was to present these views globally. I.e. to present themselves to the European and Latin American capitals with the aim to join not only the persons they have established contacts with and who they believe would share the same views, would follow them, but also to make the revolution international as they understand it and, of course, to move to another stage - to show Greece they are active. All this because police authorities managed to arrest some of them a few months ago and others are in jail. This caused a feeling of these groups bent. The parcel bombs case showed that they are not weaker, but that they are here and are very active and extremely dangerous.

What is the social profile of these groups’ members?

In general, judging from the two arrested, we could tell they are young, but it seems the age range is very large. They do not come from poor families but from the middle class. And here I want to highlight one of the main causes of these groups. Youth organizations of political parties were very strong here in Greece once. They somehow managed to absorb such extreme views and did not allow to be expressed. In the course of time, however, political youth organizations are no longer able to do that while extreme views are becoming stronger, their response is massive. And this is so because of the act of violence.

How would you explain the fact that some members of these groups come from wealthy families?

It hardly surprises me. Let's not put labels on people involved in these organizations. Moreover, people of better financial status are much more easily involved in groups. It is much easier for them to move in different circles of the society. They are also more innovative. Things have changed a lot from the past when it was believed that the poor make revolutions. Quite the contrary.

All these groups like Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei and Sect of Revolutionaries have emerged after the members of the terrorist organization November 17 were arrested. Is there continuity between the old and the new generation?

They consider themselves followers, but it is not quite the truth. This is apparent in the differences in the way of expression in the manifesto and the views that are not the same. The spectrum of participants in the groups is wide. Organizations of the past like November 17 used very largely theoretical concepts of Marxism. The new groups, as I said, are radically distinct from these categories. They do not want to have anything to do with these ideas.

Do you think they have contacts with similar groups in other countries?

Yes, I think they have. Furthermore, they have stated this and I would remind you that young people - and not only them – are using all the opportunities that modern technology offers us. On the other hand, terrorism has always used technology. We see how they communicate, using the Internet and mobile phones. This shows that mutual support, at least with regard to groups in Europe, is great. And because I meant Western Europe, I want to clarify that this concerns the discussions they have with their peers in Bulgaria.

Tags: Mary BossiTerrorismParcel bombsAnarchistsCrime news
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