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Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Greece

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 31 July 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Greece, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbcb628.html [accessed 18 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: Following a series of attacks in late 2010, Greece experienced a notable drop in the number of domestic terrorist incidents during 2011. The Greek police made major arrests of two of the most active domestic terrorist groups, Revolutionary Struggle and Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei. The other most active terrorist group, Sect of Revolutionaries, whose members are still at large, did not take responsibility for any attacks in 2011.

Overall, Greek counterterrorism cooperation with U.S. law enforcement was very good, and in regard to protection of American interests in Greece was excellent. Greek authorities worked closely with the Embassy to help safeguard the security of American citizens and American commercial interests in Greece.

2011 Terrorist Incidents: Large cities, especially Athens and Thessaloniki, continued to experience regular, generally small-scale anarchist attacks, utilizing mostly unsophisticated incendiary devices against political figures and party offices, businesses, municipal and police buildings, and random vehicles. There was just one reported attack against Greek interests within the country (see below) and none against Greek interests abroad by international/foreign violent extremist groups. The more significant attempted attacks included:

  • On February 2, the group Illegal Sector Informal Anarchist Federation/Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei claimed responsibility for an improvised explosive device (IED) sent via envelope and addressed to the minister of justice. Ministry personnel detected the suspicious device and police defused it.

  • On March 23, an unidentified male called a local media outlet and said a bomb would go off in 25 minutes at a specific Greek tax authority office in Athens. Police found an IED in a bathroom of the building. The device had partially ignited but poor assembly prevented it from fully exploding. The group December 6 later claimed responsibility.

  • On March 31, Italian terrorist group Informal Anarchist Federation claimed responsibility for an IED that was detected during an x-ray scan at the Korydallos Prison in suburban Athens. The package was addressed to the warden. The device was defused.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: The following arrests/court actions occurred in 2011:

  • Thirteen suspected members of Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei were arrested.

  • One suspected member of Revolutionary Struggle surrendered to authorities and was being held pending trial.

  • In December, the trial of four suspected members of Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei began.

  • Also in December, the trial of eight suspected members of Revolutionary Struggle started.

Greek authorities worked closely with U.S. officials on the investigation of the 2007 attack at the U.S. Embassy in Athens (Chancery), and in 2010, made a number of arrests of suspected members of Revolutionary Struggle, the group that claimed responsibility. The trial of those arrested in 2010 began in December 2011.

The Greek Parliament passed legislation necessary to implement European Union (EU) Data Retention Directive 2006/24. The Directive requires EU member states' telecoms and internet service provider firms to retain customer records for 12 months. Such information can be valuable to law enforcement in terrorism and other criminal investigations.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Greece is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Greece passed a new law in 2011 to expand and strengthen the capabilities of its Financial Intelligence Unit, the National Authority for Anti-Money Laundering, Counterterrorist Financing and Source of Funds Investigation. The latest FATF report, issued in October, was largely positive and indicated that Greece made significant progress on issues identified in its 2007 report. An important improvement mentioned in the 2011 report was the legal change enacted in 2011 to make the procedure for freezing internationally designated terrorist assets more expedient. In November, the Foreign Ministry established a new Sanctions Monitoring Unit tasked with ensuring that Greece is meeting its commitments to enforce international sanctions, including terrorism-related sanctions, in coordination with other responsible ministries.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: Greece participated in regional information exchange and seminars through such bodies as the EU, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center for Combating Trans-Border Crime, and the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation.

Given the tremendous problem of illegal migration to and through Greece in recent years, primarily via the Greece-Turkey border, the country has placed ever greater emphasis on improving border security. One of the cornerstones of this effort was the increasingly close and beneficial cooperation between Greece and EU border security agency Frontex.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Greek government has initiated a number of programs to promote integration, reduce intolerance, and prevent racist attitudes in society. Such efforts do not yet include programs to actively counter terrorist propaganda. General prison rehabilitation programs exist, but inmates serving sentences for terrorism-related offences have generally refused to participate.

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