Greek Domestic Terrorism
Greek domestic terrorism stems from radical leftist and anarchist ideologies that developed in reaction to the military dictatorship that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974. Shortly after the dictatorship’s collapse, radical leftist elements emerged to form Greece’s two most notorious terrorist groups, Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N) and Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA).
17N’s first major operation was the assassination of CIA Chief of Station Richard Welch in 1975. For the next 27 years, 17N was Greece’s
most lethal terrorist group, killing at least
A new generation of Greek domestic terrorist groups emerged after the Athens Olympics. The three most prominent of these groups were Revolutionary Struggle (EA), Sect of Revolutionaries (SE), and Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei (SPF).
EA, an armed radical leftist group ideologically similar to earlier generations of Greek terrorists, conducted a number of high-profile terrorist operations against Greek and Western interests after its emergence in 2003, including a rocket-propelled grenade attack against the US Embassy in Athens in January 2007. Greek authorities in April 2010 arrested six EA members and confiscated several large weapons and explosives caches, largely disrupting the group’s operations. Two EA members, including the group’s ringleader, in mid-2012 violated the terms of their release pending trial and disappeared.
SPF, an anarchist group, conducted coordinated attacks against Greek Government targets and claimed responsibility for a November 2010 parcel bomb campaign that targeted international leaders and institutions outside Greece, a first for Greek domestic terrorists. A series of arrests during 2011 crippled SPF’s operations, but members of the group may remain at large.
Radical leftist SE last appeared in July 2010 after a 13-month hiatus to assassinate a Greek journalist outside of Athens home. SE has threatened Greek government and media targets with attacks, but has not conducted an attack since 2010.
Greece in the first half of 2012 witnessed intermittent security incidents, most of which involved low-level criminal or politically motivated violence, but included an attempted attack on the Athens metro using a crude incendiary device and an incendiary attack that severely damaged Microsoft offices in Athens. Largely unknown groups claimed these two attacks, espousing an anarchist and anti-authoritarian ideology and solidarity with imprisoned members of the more established terrorist groups. Anarchists also took advantage of large public demonstrations related to the Greek debt crisis, infiltrating peaceful protests to foment unrest that included coordinated looting and arson.