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The world's most successful terrorist group strikes again.
June 8, 2000 9:37 AM   Subscribe

The world's most successful terrorist group strikes again. Although they can't claim the numbers of other terrorist groups, 17 November is considered to be one of the deadliest. Claiming over 20 kills with none of their members ever having been captured or killed is something to be proud of I guess. When I was stationed over in Greece, this group was our biggest fear, besides the fact that it was rumored that the group had links to the Socialist Party of the government and that the party "assisted" (using the term loosely) them from being captured. I had hoped that they had turned to internal terrorism and not International, as I hadn't heard anything about them in the last 7 years, but I guess that hope was optimistic.
posted by da5id (1 comment total)

 
As a Greek, let me chime in: I doubt that the (ruling) Socialist party directly assists November 17.

From their communiques and their technological know-how (commando-type raids, remote-control bombs, hand-made rocket launchers) it's very likely that the group is ex-Army (which is most of the populace in a country with a mandatory draft), technical university graduates --which back in the '70s where Socialist strongholds.

I.e. it is likely that the members and/or leaders of the group were themselves members of the Socialist party. What I think (and this is just a guess) happened was that when the police came close to capturing the group (in the early '90s, 1993 to be exact), some in the government were *afraid* that the group might prove to have ties to active Socialist party executives. At the same time, Greece was having a general election every year almost; uncovering such a scandal would have been a huge liability. Thus, they *may* have opted to back off for political reasons only, and probably based on speculation (the same I just laid out) rather than fact.

Again, this is purely speculatory. As an ex-US ambassador to Greece put it: "Greece doesnot have the world's worst terrorism problem; it has the world's worst *anti-terrorism* problem".

And another point is that the last one or two remaining terrorist cells (with Nov. 17 the most infamous of course) never striked civilians or carry blind attacks (like the IRA or Hizbullah do and/or did). I.e. tourists or American civilians are not at risk; OTOH, diplomats and/or soldiers (like da5id was) are.

Finally, let me plug my Greek weblog where there is plenty of background on this.
posted by costas at 10:50 AM on June 8, 2000


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