Revolutionary Struggle

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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)
Revolutionary Snuggle
Leader(s) No leader (non-hierarchical organisation)
Dates of operation 2003–
Motives Social revolution in Greece and globally
Active region(s) Greece
Ideology Anarchist communism
Platformism
Anti-imperialism
Anti-globalisation
Notable attacks 2007 United States embassy attack in Athens
Status Active
Size Unknown

Revolutionary Struggle (Greek: Επαναστατικός Αγώνας, Epanastatikos AgonasEA) is a Greek 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, the European Union (EU) and the United States.[1][2][3]

History[edit]

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.[4] 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.

2003–2007 attacks[edit]

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[5][6] The group attacked a police station in Nea Ionia several months later. These attacks led to Revolutionary Struggle becoming Greece's biggest domestic security threat since the 17 November Group disbanded in 2002.[7]

In a statement published in To Pontiki on January 25, 2007, 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".[8] The European Union added RS to its list of designated terrorist organizations on June 29, 2007.[9] 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.[10]

Investigation[edit]

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.[11]

2010 arrests[edit]

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.[12]

In April 2010 after a long investigation, six suspected members of the group were apprehended. The subsequent investigation lead police to over €119,000 in cash, Zastava handguns, fake identification documents which were used to rent safehouses, explosives (195 kg of ANFO hidden in a motorbike garage) and detailed plans of future terrorist attacks.[13]

Later, police investigating another address in Kypseli rented under another false ID used by the suspects discovered an RPG-7. Other weapons discovered there included many hand grenades, two Kalashnikovs and an MP5 submachine gun that ballistics later linked conclusively to previous attacks.[14][15]

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.[16]

2014–present[edit]

In the early morning hours of Thursday, April 10, 2014 – after two warning phone calls to the media – a car bomb with 75 kg 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, Revolutionary Struggle (Epanastatikos Agonas) claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Three anarchists revealed their membership in April 2010: Nikos Maziotis and Pola Roupa, who went underground since the summer of 2012 (the government placed a bounty on their heads), and Kostas Gournas, who is currently held captive in Koridallos prison. Roupa was recaptured in January 2017.[17]

List of attacks[edit]

  • January 2007: Grenade fired at American embassy facade in Athens[7]
  • April 2007: Shots fired at police station in Athens suburb of Nea Ionia[7]
  • October 2008: Failed bomb attempt on Royal Dutch Shell's headquaters in south Athens[7]
  • January 2009: In response to the killing of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, shots fired at police guarding the Ministry of Culture building in Athens, seriously wounding one policeman[7]
  • March 2009: Two bomb attack on Citibank branches in Athens[7][18]
  • May 2009: Bomb attack on a Eurobank Ergasias branch in suburban Athens.[7][19]
  • 3 July 2009: Suspected bomb attack on a McDonald's in Athens Ambelokipi district causes "extensive damage."[20]
  • September 2009: Explosion outside the Athens stock exchange causing minor injuries to one woman and significant damage to the surrounding area. A second bomb in Thessaloniki causing minor damage and no injuries.[7][21]
  • 13 May 2010: A bomb exploded outside Korydallos Prison in Athens, injuring a woman. Police suspected the Revolutionary Struggle.[22]
  • 14 May 2010: Only one day after the bomb-explosion in Athens, a second bomb exploded 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.[23]
  • 10 April 2014: Car bomb attack on a Bank of Greece and a Piraeus Bank headquarters in central 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.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Revolutionary Struggle' terror group claims responsibility for attacks on labor ministry, police buses". Embassy of Greece to the United States. June 10, 2005. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-12. 
  2. ^ a b George Gilson (December 23, 2005). "Robin Hood terrorists". Athens News. Archived from the original on 2012-03-10. 
  3. ^ Anthee Carassava (January 12, 2007). "U.S. Embassy in Athens Is Attacked". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ Institute for the Study of Violent Groups article on the Revolutionary Struggle movement Archived 2012-11-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 8 April 1998
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "Timeline: Bomb attacks in Greece". Reuters. March 28, 2010. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017. 
  8. ^ George Gilson (January 26, 2007). "Terrorists issue anti-US manifesto". Athens News. 
  9. ^ MKO stays on EU terrorist list Payvand
  10. ^ Justia Regulation Tracker, The Federal Register, Vol. 74, No. 94, 18 May 2009
  11. ^ Guns 'link several Greek attacks'. BBC News. 9 January 2009.
  12. ^ "Terrorist link in Dafni shootout - News - ekathimerini.com". ekathimerini.com. 
  13. ^ "All six terrorist suspects held for trial - News - ekathimerini.com". ekathimerini.com. 
  14. ^ http://www.phantis.com/news/?newsID=2010042191248
  15. ^ "Group’s weapons cache found - News - ekathimerini.com". ekathimerini.com. 
  16. ^ "ekathimerini.com - Revolutionary trio claim terror hits". ekathimerini.com. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. 
  17. ^ "Greek police find weapons at captured extremist's hideout". BigStory.AP.org. The Big Story. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  18. ^ Report: Greek terror group claims Citibank attacks. AP. 12 March 2009. Archived 16 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Telegraph-Journal". canadaeast.com. 
  21. ^ "Bomb hits Athens stock exchange". BBC News. 2 September 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  22. ^ "Channel NewsAsia". Channel NewsAsia. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. 
  23. ^ "Bomb kills Greek minister's aide". BBC News. 24 June 2010. 
  24. ^ "Revolutionary Struggle claims car bomb outside Bank of Greece". eKathemerini. 25 April 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-04-27. 

External links[edit]