Friday, January 12, 2007

Terrorism in Athens

Apparently an RPG round has been fired at the front of the US Embassy in Athens. From the description in the BBC report, "just above the US emblem", it sounds to me like they may have been trying to blow the emblem off.

The big question now is whether this is the work of a successor to the, disbanded, 17 November Marxist group which has attacked US targets in the past, as well as killing British military attache Stephen Saunders, or the work of international Islamist terrorists. It was a wrong call on a similar question that led to Jose Maria Aznar's departure from power after the Madrid bombings. The police are making no predictions so far.

From my, admittedly limited, knowledge of how these things work this sounds like a small scale domestic terrorist group rather than the, rather bloodier, work of Islamist terrorists. Choosing to attack just before six in the morning with a single RPG was never going to produce the gruesome images the Jihadis look for.

Now the task is to find whoever did this. 17 November managed to operate for almost thirty years, from 1975, without a single arrest before their group quickly unravelled in 2002. If this is the start of a similar campaign and the Greeks do a similarly poor job in tracking down those responsible then we'll be hearing stories of terrorist attacks in Greece for some time to come.

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