NEWS

Greek Police see pattern in parcel bomb campaign

YIANNIS SOULIOTIS

TAGS: Terrorism, Crime

Police said on Tuesday that the targets of eight parcel bombs discovered on Monday were top European finance officials, including Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem and the managing director of euro area’s bailout fund, Klaus Regling, as well as institutions such as the European Central Bank, and Moody’s and Fitch agencies.

The parcel bombs were found and neutralized on Monday night at a postal sorting center in Kryoneri, northern Attica.

According to the investigation, the parcels were placed in postboxes, and not at post office branches, so that the culprits would avoid detection by security cameras.

Unlike last week’s parcel bombs posted to the International Monetary Fund’s headquarters in Paris and the German Finance Ministry, Monday’s packages were intercepted by authorities before they reached Athens International Airport, where they would have been checked.

“We were able to detect [the parcels] by factoring in all the parameters like, for example, the appearance of the parcels, the names of the senders, and those they were addressed to,” an official close to the investigation told Kathimerini.

The sender names on the parcels were Greek financial experts and academics, including Gikas Hardouvelis, who briefly served as a finance minister in the conservative government of Antonis Samaras.

Each of the eight parcels found on Monday contained roughly 30 grams of gunpowder and was similar to last week’s parcel bombs. Experts said the quantity, as was illustrated last week, would have been difficult to detect at the airport. Police have also said the explosives were not capable of causing significant damage.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the parcels, as was the case last week when the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire terror group said it was behind the parcel bombs.

But investigators appeared convinced on Tuesday that there was a pattern linking last week’s two parcel attacks with the eight packages found on Monday.

“The first two parcels served as the ‘pilots’ of their terror campaign which targeted prominent European and Greek figures,” police told Kathimerini, adding that after their success last week, the terrorists sent new parcels to less prominent figures hoping that they would not be detected.

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