Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2018, 16:20 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Greece

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 30 May 2013
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Greece, 30 May 2013, available at: [accessed 21 February 2018]
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: In 2012, Greece continued to experience small-scale attacks like targeted arson and improvised explosive device detonation by domestic anarchist groups. Generally, such attacks did not aim to inflict bodily harm but rather sought to make a political statement. Many members of the two most active domestic terrorist groups, Revolutionary Struggle and Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, have been imprisoned since 2011. Overall, Greek government cooperation with the United States on counterterrorism and the physical security of American interests in Greece was strong.

2012 Terrorist Incidents: On February 25, a group under the name "February 12 Movement" claimed responsibility for a failed bomb attack at the Egaleo subway station where an improvised incendiary device (IID) was placed inside an Athens subway car. The device was placed next to a seat and consisted of a plastic container with flammable liquid, a small quantity of an explosive substance, a timer, wires, and batteries. The bomb did not explode, most likely due to faulty construction.

Greece's two largest cities, Athens and Thessaloniki, experienced frequent, relatively small-scale anarchist attacks that used inexpensive and unsophisticated incendiary devices against the properties of political figures, party offices, private bank ATMs, ministries and tax offices, and privately-owned vehicles.

One incident was reported against U.S. interests. On June 27, a group calling itself "Deviant Behaviors for the Proliferation of Revolutionary Terrorism – International Revolutionary Front" claimed responsibility for an attack in which a van full of IIDs was driven through the front of the Microsoft headquarters building in an Athens suburb. The IIDs were subsequently detonated, causing a high intensity explosion. No casualties or injuries were reported.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Seven members of Revolutionary Struggle were released from pretrial detention in October 2011 (due to a Greek law that allows a maximum of 18 months of imprisonment without trial proceedings beginning). The Greek Counterterrorism Unit was not informed by the local police precinct that two of the lead members failed to show up for their required check-in (also October 2011) at the precinct until July 2012. Police have not been able to locate the two, and Greek authorities had not prosecuted the case by year's end.

The trial of 17 suspected members of Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, which began in 2011, was repeatedly postponed due to work stoppages by judges and judicial postponements in 2012.

The porous nature of Greece's borders is of concern. While Greek border authorities try to stem the flow of illegal migration, its ability to control large-scale illegal migration via its land and sea borders with Turkey is limited. The recent political upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East have intensified illegal migration to and through Greece via the Greece-Turkey border and the Greek Aegean islands.

DHS/ICE provided training to Hellenic National Police and Coast Guard in Athens, Crete, Patras, and Thessaloniki to advance knowledge of border security agents. The U.S. National Counterterrorism Center facilitated a multi-day tabletop exercise in Athens in an effort to prepare Hellenic Police Forces for a large-scale terrorist incident. Participation on the part of the Greek government was broad-based and comprehensive.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Greece is a member of the Financial Action Task Force. The Foreign Ministry's Sanctions Monitoring Unit is tasked with ensuring that Greece meets its commitments to enforce international sanctions, including terrorism-related sanctions. The Financial Intelligence unit inspected 3,586 suspicious transactions in 2012, but did not discover evidence of terrorist financing in Greece. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes:

Regional and International Cooperation: Greece is a member of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee. Overall, Greece engaged constructively on counterterrorism initiatives in international fora. Greece regularly participated in regional information exchange and seminars through such bodies as the EU, the OSCE, the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center for Combating Trans-Border Crime, and the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation.

Search Refworld