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Athens: who is behind the series of bomb attacks?

Who is behind the series of bombings that shake Athens in recent days? Who placed the explosive device in The Mall on Sunday, who fired the gun shots at the headquarters of Samaras’ Nea Dimocratia last Thursday? Who put gas canisters outside the homes of five journalists, who destroyed office facades of Nea Dimocratia and PASOK and placed explosive devices at banks ATMs? Are the perpetrators the same people, members of a single organization or several organizations acting individually? Are the attackers “known names from the recent past”, i.e. not-captured or released from prison members of urban guerrilla groups or are they what is often called here “a new generation of terrorists”? Or do they belong to completely new organizations that copy the methods of groups who were active in the past?

Until now, responsibility claim was made by what is looks to be three organizations. A new organization with the name “Circle of Outlaws/Nucleus of Lovers of Lawlessness-Militant Minority” claimed responsibility for the attacks against the journalists considered to be “defenders the government’s policies” and as reprisal of the Villa Amalia eviction. A connection to eviction of Villa Amalia and Villa Skaramangas were also made with two statements claiming responsibility for explosive devices at several offices of ND and PASOK and banks ATMs, however the statements were uploaded on internet without the “signature” of any organization or group. Who are these claims? Police has not managed to proceed to any arrests, so far.

For the attacks to ND headquarters and The Mall, perpetrator remain silence. So far. 

And yet. Even if new or old organizations claim repsonsibilities, police is obliged to arrest the attackers, investigate their past and expose their names and pictures to the public.

Police and counterterrorism officials are sparing with making connections to leftists/anarchists organizations, even though leakages to the media speak of possible links with organizations whose members are already in prison.

Political condemnations with insunation and division rhetoric

The Greek government is particularly concerned about the attacks, while the political world boils. The government follows the usual path of verbal attacks full of insunations towards the left opposition, while the opposition retrieves from the dustbin ghosts of the past – When the right-wing used to ‘the deep state” in order to destabilize the country.

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou (Nea Dimocratia)  told ANT1 TV on Monday morning that the target of terrorism are we all as the Mal attack showed that targets are not only political or journalists. Kedikoglou stressed it is “inconceivable that there are connections between the implementation of the law [squats evictions] and terror attacks.” However last week the government spokesman blamed left-wing and main opposition party SYRIZA for “protecting anarchists.”

Although this time the government prefrained form accusing directly SYRIZA, a statement by Minister for Citizen Protection and Public Order, underlined that the explosive device in The Mall “aimed at the democratic normality, the social peace and the prospect for economic recovery of the country. This time is the time of crisis for everyone. Verbal condemnation of this incident is not enough. Required is the complete isolation of violence and terrorism from the whole political world, but without footnotes and asterisks. The message should be one: our Democracy is neither daunted nor terrorized.”

In a dramatic tune, government partner PASOK condemned The Mall attack saying in a statement “We are dealing with a new type of terrorism that not only chooses symbolic targets but it wants death and blood.”

Here is to note that The Mall belongs to a company of Greek reeder Spyros Latsis.

Junior coalition government parnter Democratic Left condemned The Mall attack as any other act of violence, especially the blind violence. “Terrorism threatens the society,” said DEMLEFT in a statement stressing the presence of families with children.

SYRIZA “absolutely and unequivocally” condemned the terrorist attack and a party statement read: “The condemnation of terrorism and blind violence is a must for political parties within the constitution.  The isolation of such actions without offsets, political expediency and dangerous interpretations is the appropriate attitude. ”

Communist KKE condemned also the attack and described it as a “highly dangerous and suspicious act. As a part of a plan to bully people that offers services to those who seek to strengthen the mechanisms of repression and intimidation of people. ”

Independent Greeks condemned the attack and spoke of “attacks that disorientate from the economic problems and seek to change the agenda. “The government tries to intervene repressive, after failing to take preventive actions.”

Extreme right Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) called the government to “leave aside wishes and verbal condemnations and proceed immediately to capture and exemplary punishment of the terrorists.”

Clear is that while police steps in the dark, the majority of political parties try to exploit the bomb attacks against their challengers and competitors. Unclear is whether “anarchists” are indeed to blame for the attacks, while the possibility of a “deep state” cannot be excluded at this stage of investigations.

Analysts should think about who really benefits from the series of attacks, how the normal Greeks react to these – if with suspicion or not- and what preventive measures are to be taken by the state in the future. One should also ask, whether there is a direct connection between a society boiling with anger over the austerity measures with these acts of blind violence. One should also wonder if there is a single organization with many names or a Hydra with many heads.
Meanwhile Greek media reported on Monday that top priority of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is to avoid hurting the image of the country abroad and the perspective of the country’s economic recovery.


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