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- This is an article about a Greek revolutionary group. For the Marxist theory, see World revolution. For the Irish militant group, see Revolutionary Struggle (Ireland)
|Dates of operation||2003–|
|Leader(s)||no leader (anarchist organisation)|
|Motives||Social revolution in Greece Global Social revolution|
|Ideology||Anarchist communism, Platformism, anti-imperialism, anti-globalisation|
|Notable attacks||2007 United States embassy attack in Athens|
Revolutionary Struggle (Greek: Επαναστατικός Αγώνας, Epanastatikos Agonas — EA) is a Greek rebel group known for its attacks on Greek government buildings and the American embassy in Athens. It is designated as a terrorist group by the Greek government, EU and United States.
Revolutionary Struggle (EA) is a Greek militant group which borrows their ideological resume from various former terrorist groups in the region such as Revolutionary Organization 17 November (N17) and Revolutionary People’s Struggle (ELA). They espouse a staunch anti-globalization and anarchist ideology, participating in violent activities against the Greek security forces and major banking and business institutions, in order to force a revolution in the European nation. In addition, they have significant anti-Capitalist ideals and have often targeted U.S. interests, and attempt to encourage the disengagement of Greece in the US’ “War on Terror.”
The EA is a newer group in the anarchist movement. In 2002, Greek security forces led a resistance against members of the Revolutionary Organization 17 November (N17), and arrested 15 of the group’s leaders and members. The arrests crippled the group and they became inactive. Some researchers believe that Revolutionary Struggle was established by the remaining members of N17 that weren’t detained. The group officially emerged in 2003 with the bombing of a courthouse in Athens where one police officer died. Since then, they have been charged with the assassinations of government officials and bombings of police stations, U.S. government interests, banks, and other businesses.
The European Union (EU) designated the group as a recognized terrorist organization in June 2007. As part of a series of raids in April 2010, Greek security forces arrested six suspected members of EA . Included in this group is Nikos Maziotis, the suspected leader of the organization. It remains to be seen whether the arrests may have a significant impact on EA’s violent activity and their ability to reform under new leadership and continue their violent operations.
The group first emerged in 2003 with a bombing attack on an Athens courthouse complex, following that up with attacks in 2004 on Citibank and an Athens police station. In May 2004, the group published its first manifesto in the Greek satirical magazine, To Pontiki, in which it expressed revolutionary, anarchist, anti-globalisation and anti-imperialist ideological aims. Following a January 12, 2007 RPG-7 attack on the U.S. Embassy, Greek authorities mistakenly described the group as a spinoff of Revolutionary Organization 17 November.
In a statement published in To Pontiki on January 25, Revolutionary Struggle admitted that it had carried out the embassy attack, claiming that the "strike was our answer to the criminal war against 'terrorism' that the US has unleashed over the entire planet with the help of fellow-traveling states".
The European Union added RS to its list of designated terrorist organizations on June 29, 2007. On May 18, 2009, a U.S. State Department spokesman announced in a press briefing that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had formally designated Revolutionary Struggle as a foreign terrorist organization under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.
In January 2009, Greek police said their ballistics tests showed the weapon used in RS's 30 April 2007 attack was used again in a 5 January 2009 shooting of a police officer. A second weapon used in the 5 January attack was tied by the police to a 23 December 2008 attack on a police bus. That attack was reported to have been claimed by a group calling itself Popular Action (Λαϊκή Δράση, Laiki Drasi), as a response to the 2008 civil unrest in Greece.
On March 10, 2010, two men were spotted breaking into a car (SEAT Ibiza) in Dafni, Attica at 4.40am and possibly resisted arrest by firing on the police officers. One of them, Lambros Fountas, who was later found to have been on the terrorist watch list since 1995, was shot dead, but the other escaped. However, the escapee left forensic evidence which linked him to previous terrorist attacks.
In April 2010 after a long investigation, 6 suspected members of the group were apprehended. The subsequent investigation lead police to over €119,000 in cash, Zastava handguns, fake IDs which were used to rent safehouses, explosives (195 kg of ANFO hidden in a motorbike garage) and detailed plans of future terrorist attacks.
Later, police investigating another address in Kypseli rented under another false ID used by the suspects discovered an RPG-7. Other weapons discovered here included many hand grenades, two Kalashnikovs and an MP5 submachine gun that ballistics later linked conclusively to previous attacks.
Prosecutors charged the six with participating in bomb attacks, participating in a terrorist group, attempted murder, and other crimes. The accused have previously denied any wrongdoing. However, in late April 2010, the three prime suspects being held confirmed their involvement in Revolutionary Struggle in a letter to the press, but denied that the government could prove they participated in the actions related to their charges. The three also promised to continue their revolutionary activities as long as they are living.
In the early morning hours of Thursday, April 10th, 2014 —after two warning phone calls to the media— a car bomb with 75kg of explosives was detonated outside one of Bank of Greece’s offices, located at Amerikis Street in Athens, causing extensive material damages in the surrounding area (but no injuries).
Fifteen days later, the urban guerrilla group Revolutionary Struggle (Epanastatikos Agonas) claimed responsibility for the bombing. Below are just a few excerpts from their lengthy articulate communiqué (a complete translation is always welcome!).
As many of you may recall, three anarchists revealed their membership in the group four years ago, in April 2010: Nikos Maziotis and Pola Roupa, who have gone underground since the summer of 2012 (recently, the government placed a huge bounty on their heads), and Kostas Gournas, who is currently held captive in Koridallos prison.
List of attacks
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- September 5, 2003: Bomb attack on an Athens courthouse.
- May 5, 2004: Bomb attack on an Athens police station.
- October 29, 2004: Bomb/rocket attack on Greek police buses.
- June 2, 2005: Bomb attack on a labour ministry building.
- December 12, 2005: Bomb attack on a finance ministry building in Syntagma Square, Athens.
- May 30, 2006: Assassination attempt on Georgios Voulgarakis, the Culture Minister and former Public Order Minister.
- January 12, 2007: Wasp 58 LAW rocket attack on the United States Embassy in Athens.
- April 30, 2007: Shots fired at police station in Athens suburbe of Nea Ionia.
- December 23, 2008: Shots fired at bus transporting riot police outside Athens University.
- January 5, 2009: Shots fired at police guarding the Ministry of Culture building in Athens. A 21-year-old member of the riot police unit, Diamandis Mantzounis, was critically wounded in the body and leg. Weapons traced to those used in the 30 April 2007 and 23 December 2008 shootings.
- February 18, 2009: Failed car bomb attack on the Citibank offices in central Athens. Police later said the bomb was powerful enough to destroy the four-story building.
- 9 March 2009: Bomb attack on a Citibank branch in suburban Athens.
- 12 May 2009: Bomb attack on a Eurobank Ergasias branch in suburban Athens.
- 3 July 2009: Suspected firebomb attack on a tax office in Athens Ambelokipi district.
- 3 July 2009: Suspected bomb attack on a McDonald's in Athens Ambelokipi district causes "extensive damage."
- 2 September 2009: Explosion outside the Athens stock exchange causing minor injures to one woman and significant damage to the surrounding area. A second bomb in Thessaloniki causing minor damage and no injuries. The group is suspect.
- 16 February 2010: A bomb exploded outside of a JP Morgan Bank in Athens, authorities suspected the Revolutionary Struggle or Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei were responsible.
- 13 May 2010: A bomb exploded outside Korydallos Prison in Athens, injuring a woman. Police suspected the Revolutionary Struggle.
- 14 May 2010: Only one day after the bomb-explosion in Athens a second bomb explode in the court of Thessaloniki. One person was injured. The building got heavily damaged inside.
- 25 June 2010: A parcel bomb exploded within the Greek Ministry of Public Order. The bomb was addressed to the Minister of Public Order, Michalis Chrysohoidis, but was instead opened by Giorgos Vassilakis, his aide. Giorgos was killed in the attack. While not immediately claimed by Revolutionary Struggle, Greek terrorism expert Dr Athanasios Drougas said the attack was likely carried out by the group.
- 10 April 2014: Car bomb attack on a Bank of Greece and a Piraeus Bank headquarters in central of Athens. 76 kg of explosives located in a car went off destroying front facades of buildings around. No persons injured. The action was claimed later by Revolutionary Struggle in Athens Indymedia.
- "Revolutionary Struggle' terror group claims responsibility for attacks on labor ministry, police buses". Embassy of Greece to the United States. June 10, 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-12.
- George Gilson (December 23, 2005). "Robin Hood terrorists". Athens News.
- Anthee Carassava (January 12, 2007). "U.S. Embassy in Athens Is Attacked". The New York Times.
-  Institute for the Study of Violent Groups article on the Revolutionary Struggle movement.
- Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 8 April 1998
- Carassava, Anthee (2007-01-12). "U.S.: Greek leftists 'attacked embassy'". CNN.com World (CNN). Archived from the original on 2007-01-14. Retrieved 2007-01-12.
- George Gilson (January 26, 2007). "Terrorists issue anti-US manifesto". Athens News.
- MKO stays on EU terrorist list Payvand
- Justia Regulation Tracker, The Federal Register, Vol. 74, No. 94, 18 May 2009
- Guns 'link several Greek attacks'. BBC News. 9 January 2009.
- The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/12/AR2010041200780.html
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- The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/17/AR2010041701734.html
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- ekathimerini.com via Internet Archive
- Report: Greek terror group claims Citibank attacks. AP. 12 March 2009.
- "Bomb hits Athens stock exchange". BBC News. 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- http://wits-classic.nctc.gov/ViewIncident.do?incidentId=91238 Worldwide Incidents Tracking System
- Greek far-left blamed for Athens bomb blast
- "Bomb kills Greek minister's aide". BBC News. 2010-06-24.
- "Revolutionary Struggle claims car bomb outside Bank of Greece". eKathemerini. 2013-04-25.