Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei

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Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei
Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei LOGO.jpg
Native name Συνωμοσία των Πυρήνων της Φωτιάς
Also known as Conspiracy of Cells of Fire
Dates of operation 2008-
Motives war against the state
Active region(s) Greece
Ideology Individualist anarchism, Nihilism
Status Active

The Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei (Greek: Συνωμοσία των Πυρήνων της Φωτιάς, Synomosía Pyrínon Tis Fotiás –SPF), also translated as Conspiracy of Fire Cells or Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, is a radical anarchist organization based in Greece. The SPF first surfaced on January 21, 2008, with a wave of 11 firebombings against luxury car dealerships and banks in Athens and Thessaloniki.[1] Monthly waves of arson have been followed by proclamations expressing solidarity with arrested anarchists in Greece and elsewhere. In September 2009, following an escalation to the use of crude time bombs, four suspected members of the group were arrested. In November 2010 two more suspects were arrested while attempting to mail parcel bombs to embassies and EU leaders and organizations. The organization was designated as a terrorist group on October 13, 2011, by the U.S. Department of State.[2]


The Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei (SPF) conducted its first wave of nearly simultaneous firebombing attacks using gas canister bombs at around 1 am local time on January 21, 2008, to express solidarity with an arrested anarchist. At 5 pm on February 20 an incendiary device was detonated at the Athens law firm of Anastasios Papaligouras, former Minister for Justice. A woman employee was cut by flying glass.[3][4][5] The following day, assailants detonated incendiary devices as part of eight separate attacks across parts of Attica, targeting banks, an insurance company and several vehicles.[4][6] A similar incident occurred in Thessaloniki on March 19, when attackers set a town hall and three security vehicles on fire.[7] Further attacks struck Athens on April 9–10, 2008, when incendiary devices were detonated overnight at the Italian Institute of Culture, a vehicle repair shop and four automobile dealerships.[8] On December 3 an improvised explosive device went off at the Athens offices of Agence France-Presse at 5:50 pm.[9]

The group was credited with at least four attacks in 2009. On July 7, an explosion occurred outside the house of Panagiotis Chinofotis, a former Minister of Internal Affairs. The bomb, using gunpowder in a pressure cooker, was subsequently claimed by the Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, asserting that Chinofotis bore some of the responsibility for the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos,[10] the young student whose killing by policemen in December 2008 had led to the 2008 Greek riots. On October 30 a similar device was detonated outside the Athens home of Marietta Giannakou, a prominent conservative opposition Member of the European Parliament, causing minor damage and no injuries.[11] On November 14 a bomb detonated in front of the home of Panhellenic Socialist Movement deputy Mimis Androulakis in the Kareas suburb of eastern Athens. The SPF claimed the attack, accusing Androulakis of being a traitor to the left wing.[12] On December 28 a more powerful bomb went off in the Athens district of Neos Kosmos, damaging the Ethniki Asfalistiki insurance building off Syngrou Avenue.[13] The group's proclamation announced a new alliance with a group that had access to real explosives.[14]

The SPF took credit for further attacks in 2010, including the explosion of a makeshift bomb on January 9 outside the Greek parliament building, causing minor damages and no injuries,[15] and three bomb attacks on March 20 relating to the immigration issue. The bombs attacked the offices of Greek Nationalist party Golden Dawn, causing significant damage, the home of a Pakistani community leader in Athens, causing slight damage and no injuries,[16] and a bus shelter outside a police station along Petrou Ralli Street in Athens, which had been implicated in several instances of police violence against immigrants, including the death of two Pakistanis in custody at the station. The latter explosion caused minimal damage and no injuries.[17]

2010 parcel bombs and arrests[edit]

On November 1, a package addressed to the Mexican Embassy in Athens exploded in the office of a courier company, scorching the hands of the employee who handled it. A second package, containing a similar bomb (a small quantity of gunpowder from fireworks) addressed to offices of Eurojust in the Netherlands, was destroyed in a controlled explosion. Two suspects were arrested after police cordoned off the affected area. Both were wearing wigs and armed with Glock 9-mm pistols, and one was wearing a bulletproof vest. They were in possession of two other explosive parcels, one addressed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the other to the Belgian Embassy.[18]

On the following day, bombs exploded outside the Swiss and Russian embassies, and suspicious packages addressed to Europol and the Bulgarian, Chilean and German embassies were recovered and neutralized. A parcel destined for Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi exploded while being examined by Italian authorities after a Greek police warning. Another was retrieved from the outer office of German Chancellor Merkel. No one was injured.

Greek authorities halted international airmail for 48 hours on November 3–4, 2010, following the mail bombings, and the police were reported to be searching for members of the SPF in relation to the attacks.[19] A trial date of January 17, 2011, was set.

2010 Athens courthouse bombing[edit]

On December 30, 2010, a motorcycle bomb caused major damage to an Athens courthouse, but caused no injuries, as police had evacuated the area after a warning call. The online proclamation was signed "Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire".[20]

2011 police shootout[edit]

In May 2011 a shootout occurred in an Athens suburb between police officers and an individual suspected to be linked to the SPF. Two officers were wounded, as was the suspect. The suspect's fingerprints were allegedly found in an apartment in Volos where numerous SPF members had been previously arrested. A second suspect was reported to have been involved in the shootout, but it is unclear whether that individual was apprehended.[21][22]


Two SPF proclamations published in on May 19, 2010, explained that SPF represented a "third pole" of anarchist thought in Greece, anarcho-individualism, contrasting it with social anarchism and insurrectionary anarchism.[23] SPF proclamations sent to following each operation quote from T.S. Eliot or Dylan Thomas to convey their authors' alienation and their hostility to society as a web of repressive relations. SPF rejects class struggle and other collective categories, viewing the war against the state and its institutions as a battle for individual self-actualization. The SPF does, however, express solidarity with imprisoned anarchists in Greece and other countries. Uniquely among Greek armed groups, the SPF claims to use the word "terrorist" in a favorable light. Some of its writers refer to themselves as nihilists.

These proclamations are inconsistent with ideological positions traditionally found within anarchist organizations, namely communitarianism and solidarity with the working classes. However, in their published text "The Sun Still Rises", they put forward a redefinition of the concept of revolutionary "organization" as an entity consisting of many groups and individuals of various backgrounds, united through a common critique of capitalist society and a commitment to "immediate freedom" through urban guerrilla tactics. [24]


  1. ^ ((i)) Indymedia :: Athens :: Newswire :: Εμπρηστικό μπαράζ-Overnight Series of Arsons (21/1/2008)
  2. ^ U.S. Department of State
  3. ^ [1][dead link] Worldwide Incidents Tracking System
  4. ^ a b United Press International
  5. ^
  6. ^ [2][dead link] Worldwide Incidents Tracking System
  7. ^ [3][dead link] Worldwide Incidents Tracking System
  8. ^ [4][dead link] Worldwide Incidents Tracking System
  9. ^ [5][dead link] Worldwide Incidents Tracking System
  10. ^ [6][dead link][dead link]
  11. ^ | Bomb targets MEP home
  12. ^ | Bomb explodes at deputy’s home
  13. ^ Bomb goes off at the Ethniki Asfalistiki building in Neos Kosmos | Αθήνα 9.84
  14. ^ ((i)) Indymedia :: Athens :: Newswire :: Έκρηξη συγγρού-Συνωμοσία πυρήνων της φωτιάς (Greek)
  15. ^ "Blast outside Greek parliament, no one hurt". Reuters. January 9, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Second blast hits Greek capital". BBC News. March 20, 2010. 
  17. ^ Attentat à Athènes contre un centre de la police -
  18. ^ "Explosions outside Swiss, Russian Embassies in Greece". CNN. November 2, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Greece suspends foreign airmail service after attacks". BBC News. November 3, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Greek anarchists claim Athens court bomb". USA Today. January 5, 2011. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  21. ^ [7][dead link]
  22. ^ | Terror link in shooting probe
  23. ^
  24. ^ [8]

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