Po­lice fear bank bomb sig­nals new wave of at­tacks

Probe into ex­ist­ing groups, new re­cruits

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Of­fi­cials at the Greek Po­lice (ELAS) ex­pressed con­cerns yes­ter­day about a pos­si­ble resur­gence of do­mes­tic ter­ror­ism after a small ex­plo­sive de­vice det­o­nated out­side a build­ing hous­ing the of­fices of Eurobank in cen­tral Athens late on Wed­nes­day, dam­ag­ing its premises and blow­ing out the win­dows of ad­ja­cent build­ings.

Ac­cord­ing to those sources, the like­li­est sce­nario is that ex­ist­ing guerrilla groups have re­cruited new mem­bers and are re­sum­ing at­tacks. The sources said they fear fur­ther hits, chiefly on banks and busi­ness tar­gets, in the com­ing weeks and months.

By late last night there had been no claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack on Eurobank which caused dam­age but no in­juries. Po­lice sources were seek­ing to es­tab­lish whether the per­pe­tra­tors be­hind Wed­nes­day night’s at­tack could be­long to the same group that tar- geted a po­lice precinct in Dafni, south­ern Athens, in Fe­bru­ary and the La­bor Min­istry of­fices in cen­tral Athens last De­cem­ber. Uniden­ti­fied per­pe­tra­tors planted a hand grenade out­side the Dafni precinct and a bomb out­side the min­istry of­fices but, in both cases, the de­vices were de­fused be­fore they det­o­nated.

Po­lice sources in­di­cated yes­ter­day that they are ex­am­in­ing two pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios in con­nec­tion with Wed­nes­day night’s bomb. The first is that the per­pe­tra­tors are ac­com­plices of Pana­giota Roupa, a lead­ing mem­ber of the Revo­lu­tion­ary Strug­gle guerrilla group who was caught by po­lice in Jan­uary after sev­eral years on the run. After the ar­rest, of­fi­cers found two forged po­lice iden­tity cards be­lieved to have been used by ac­com­plices of Roupa who re­main at large.

The sec­ond sce­nario be­ing con- sidered by ELAS is that Wed­nes­day’s bomb was planted by newly re­cruited mem­bers of Con­spir­acy of the Cells of Fire which reap­peared last month, claim­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for par­cel bombs sent to Ger­man Fi­nance Min­is­ter Wolf­gang Schaeu­ble in Ber­lin and the of­fices of the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund in Paris. The Ber­lin bomb was in­ter­cepted be­fore it could go off in the min­istry but the Paris one det­o­nated, in­jur­ing an IMF em­ployee.

Ei­ther way, the new blast sig­nals a resur­gence of guerrilla ac­tiv­ity, po­lice sources said. “The at­tack on the of­fices of Eurobank, as well as those over the past few months, con­sti­tute a new cy­cle of ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­ity, which is not go­ing to end soon,” an of­fi­cer from the po­lice’s counter-ter­ror­ism de­part­ment told Kathimerini.

Foren­sic ex­perts look for ev­i­dence at the site of an ex­plo­sion out­side a Eurobank branch in cen­tral Athens yes­ter­day. A bomb went off out­side the branch late Wed­nes­day, dam­ag­ing the premises and ad­ja­cent build­ings but caus­ing no in­juries.

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