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Map of violence: the secrets of the armed groups in Greece

12 November 2013 / 18:11:55  GRReporter
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"The decision on the bloody attack in front of the office of Golden Dawn in Neo Iraklio had been taken by the "headquarters" of the urban guerrillas a few days earlier. We had detected arrangements for a "retaliation" following Pavlos Fyssas’ murder. We believe that the majority of these 6-8 people involved in the attack (as support staff) are our acquaintances from previous operations. They are the result of processes in the urban guerrilla warfare which are not particularly complex since there is no new revolutionary potential but, on the other hand, they have suffered a number of blows. Moreover, many members of these groups do not care anymore whether we know them; they are satisfied with the fact that we cannot find them or prove their involvement in the operations. Therefore, we believe that those who carried out this unprecedented act, with the most tragic result in the history of terrorism in Greece, will not be free for a long time. We have a clear picture of what is going on... ".

These observations have been shared by senior members of the Greek police in connection with the bloody attack on the offices of Golden Dawn in Neo Iraklio on 1 November, which resulted in the murder of two people and in the serious injuring of a third person. Representatives of the police believe that there is a system for recruiting, training, funding and supporting the groups of urban guerrilla warfare. The conclusions of the police are based on unpublished data on the activity of older armed groups which reveal the existence of a single "controlling centre" that directs the terrorist groups.

Signs of central coordination

As pointed out by an experienced officer in the Greek police, "Nothing happens by coincidence. The existence of the controlling centre had been apparent at least 20 times in the past. For example, when there was an agreement between the groups "17 November", "Revolutionary People's Struggle" and "1 May" for the same consecutive attacks against various targets. We even know that, in connection with the murder of policeman Petros Bambalis, who was reduced to the ranks, in January 1979 by the "June 1978" group, a wing of "Revolutionary People's Struggle", the five leaders of equally armed groups had voted as to whether to carry out the attack or not. Moreover, one can see that, before the huge blow, as happened during the last bloody attack, there is a period of calm following the arrangements at the central level, in order for the reflexes of the Greek police not to work. Quite a few "calm" days followed the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos in 2008 and 15 days later, the anarchist group "Revolutionary Struggle" led by Nikos Maziotis had suddenly appeared. At least in two other cases, we have established that some of the groups engage in armed attacks whereas others engage in robberies in order ​​to finance the first, which is a sign of centralized coordination..."  

However, the fact that there is a "controlling centre" among the local armed groups is supported by the activities of the "Sect of Revolutionaries", which appeared as a group of "young, reckless gunmen". The "Sect" had however killed policeman Nektarios Savvas in the Athens neighbourhood of Patissia in 2009. The victim was guarding a key witness in connection with a trial for a terrorist act, which had been carried out in the period 1980-1990, when the perpetrators were ... babies. So, as they say, "It is clear that the organizers of the local urban guerrilla warfare and the "old dogs of the armed warfare" had shown them the specific target. This centralized command must certainly be taken into account in connection with the case in Neo Iraklio, the investigation of which is seriously examining the version of it being the work of the "Sect of Revolutionaries."

Bullets in the head and 45 mm pistols  

However, the authorities are dealing not only with the "leaders" of the local urban guerrilla warfare but also with the "contractors". As indicated by senior officers of the security forces before To Vima newspaper, "In the attack on the members of Golden Dawn, the victims were shot in the head at least five times. And that was considered unprecedented. However, the "1 May" group shot George Raftopoulous, head of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) at the time, in the head during the attempted murder in 1987. Even during attacks carried out by the "Sect of Revolutionaries" in the period 2009-2010 there were shots in the head. On the other hand, arrested members of the "17 November" group state that they prefer to shoot with a 45-calibre pistol with a high piercing capacity in certain points of the body, sideward, in order for them to damage many vital organs with a few bullets, thus not allowing the victim to survive."

Moreover, in order to reveal the activity of the new urban guerrilla warfare the security forces have turned again to other bloody attacks as well as to "orphaned" or "forgotten" attacks carried out over the past decade. The cold-blooded murder of guard Haralambos Amanatidis in Kifissia in 2004, for which no one has assumed responsibility, is considered one of them. Three years ago, an officer of the anti-terrorism services drew a conclusion which, based on telephone conversations, had attributed this attack to anarchists, reappearing on the scene in recent weeks. The question as to who was behind the explosion of a bomb in Patissia in 2010, which caused the death of a 15-year-old Afghan, remains unanswered too, as all armed groups refused to assume responsibility in this case.

The new generation of "guerrilla warfare"

From the emergence of "Revolutionary Struggle" to the "Phoenix" plan for revival

The police have obtained a clear picture of the emergence, calmness and the return of the armed groups operating in recent years. After the neutralization of "17 November" and "Revolutionary People's Struggle", the "Revolutionary Struggle" group took over the main armed actions in 2003 and carried out 15 armed attacks, under the guidance of Nikos Maziotis who is 42 years old today. The activity of "Revolutionary Struggle" has probably been funded with the 600,000 euro collected from a seven-member band called the "robbers in black" through six bank robberies in 2003-2006.

For many of them, who are at liberty today, there was evidence that they had been involved in the bloody attack against the police station in Agia Paraskevi carried out by the "Weapons" group on 28 October 2009 in connection with the reward for providing information about the "robbers in black", which had been announced a few hours earlier." They are connected, through a DNA sample from a hat found nearby, with a gun stolen from the guard of the chairman of the Supreme Court at the time, Romilos Kedikoglou, in Glyfada in May 2007. Now, among other things, the authorities are examining whether some of these anarchists are connected with the attack on the members of Golden Dawn.

In addition, there are available data that a group of gunmen in Thessaloniki supported the "Revolutionary Struggle" group, which involved wanted criminal Vassilis Paleokostas, who had sent, in June 2010, a parcel bomb that had caused the death of officer Giorgos Vassilakis in the building of the Ministry of Public Order on Katehaki Street.

Joint offenders

In the period 2003-2011, the groups "Popular Revolutionary Action", "ENEDRA" (Armed Revolutionary Action) and "Popular Will" acted consistently and carried out nearly 15 bomb attacks, which are believed to have had a common "operational body". In the period 2006-2009, the anti-terrorism forces collected numerous data on them, mostly from errors in their telephone conversations, and identified at least two of their members, but did not use them.

So, the authorities are now examining whether members of "Popular Revolutionary Action", "ENEDRA" and "Poplar Will", who had then escaped the police ring, are now involved in the new armed formation, namely "Group of People’s Fighters" that, with a delay of 6 months, assumed on 26 June responsibility for the attack on the offices of New Democracy on Syngrou Avenue, which attempted to launch a RPG- 7 grenade. The Greek police note that the motorcycle used in the bloody attack in Neo Iraklio had been stolen from Kallithea 24 hours after the publication of the proclamation, which warned of new attacks by the "Group of People’s Fighters".

According to the police, it seems that Nikos Maziotis and his girlfriend Paula Roupa, both on the run from the beginning of summer 2012, are involved in the specific armed group. A few days before the murder of the members of Golden Dawn in Neo Iraklio the Greek police had published information that, from the spring of 2012 to August 2013, Nikos Maziotis along with 5-6 unknown accomplices had carried out five well organized bank robberies in Nemea, Akrata, Spetses, Methana and Velestino, their loot amounting to 1.5 million euro. The authorities are now investigating whether this big return of the 42-year-old anarchist and the emergence of the "Group of People’s Fighters" are associated with the last attempt.

Emergence of a new group
Over the past five years, the mass group of young anarchists "Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei" has been "very active" and carried out more than 200 attacks, including bombings, sending of parcel bombs, etc. It is considered that part of this mammoth-group belongs to the "Sect of Revolutionaries", which has not appeared since July 2010 when journalist Sokratis Giolias was murdered in Ilioupoli. From September 2009 to 2013, the Greek police seized at least 40 members of this group and its followers who are countless.

According to policemen, through this series of arrests, the police have neutralized the "Sect of Revolutionaries". Furthermore, there was evidence that members of the group had armed themselves with Glock pistols from Finland, with the help of individuals from Kavala and the island of Crete. There are clues that associate them with a group of known criminals.
In June 2013, an electronic text was published, stating that "Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei", the "forgotten" "Sect of Revolutionaries" and the international terrorist group FAI are uniting within the "Phoenix" plan to revive the urban guerrilla warfare. According to many representatives of the Greek police, the attack against Golden Dawn was probably the culmination of the "Phoenix" plan but it may also be associated with the emergence of a new terrorist group.


Tags: Terrorist groups in GreeceGolden DawnAttack
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