NEWS

Police fear worse to come after Exarchia blast

TAGS: Justice, Crime

Senior ranking police officials fear that a far more serious attack against justice officials could be on the cards after a small explosive device targeted the apartment in Exarchia, central Athens, of prosecutor Georgia Tsatani late Wednesday.

Anti-terrorism officials cite the text posted yesterday by the group that claimed the blast, Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, which warned of more serious attacks to come.

“We chose a symbolic hit aiming only for material damages, but in the future, it will not be limited to that,” the group said in a statement on the anti-establishment Athens Indymedia website, adding that it has “memory and patience” and that the attack was a show of solidarity with imprisoned members and jailed “political prisoners.”

The statement echoed similar sentiments expressed by a convicted member of the group, Christos Tsakalos, who told a court in June that his “organization, from now on, will abandon symbolic hits and will focus all its forces against judicial authorities which are strangling our freedom.”

Sources told Kathimerini that two parcel bombs, which failed to detonate, had been sent to justice officials during the summer.

And despite there being no claim of responsibility for them, police are assuming they were the work of the Conspiracy of Fire – as was a parcel bomb sent to an investigative magistrate back in 2013.

Although none of these parcel bombs exploded, experts say they were constructed with the aim of killing their recipients, and authorities yesterday reintroduced two officers to Tsatani’s police guard, reversing a decision for their removal in September, as part of a wider re-evaluation of security given to potential targets.

Police were also reportedly reviewing a plan to reduce the number of officers guarding prosecutors and judges, especially ones who have dealt with cases involving the group.

In its posting on Thursday, the group derided Tsatani for being vindictive and servile to business interests and referred to her severity in a case involving the wife a convicted member of the group.

The group is on the American list of terror groups and has targeted foreign embassies in the capital with parcel bombs over the last six years.

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