NEWS

Authorities investigating anti-vaxxer link in death threat against Kilkis mayor

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An investigation is under way into a death threat issued against the mayor of Kilkis, northern Greece, unless he orders the “removal of all illegal migrants from the area,” state broadcaster ERT reported on Monday.

Publishing a document received by Kilkis Mayor Dimitris Kyriakidis’ office on December 10, ERT indicated that the death threat was issued by a group that is already under investigation for its militant opposition to Covid-19 vaccines and restrictions, and being monitored for its polemic rhetoric on other issues associated with the extreme right.

“These people have demonstrated that they are unpredictable, and this is cause for concern. Investigative interest is on around 15 ‘group leaders’ who could potentially drive members into [carrying out] attacks,” ERT quoted a source in the Hellenic Police (ELAS) as saying.

The state broadcaster showed a video posted online by a man with known links to one of the more aggressive anti-vaccination groups active in Greece, in which he says that people have the “right and obligation” to arm themselves with “military-grade weapons” against any “threat by an external or internal enemy.”

It also published a “sacred declaration” being disseminated over the internet, in which the authors claim that citizens have the right to take up “heavy-duty arms” against any politician involved “in the national crime of recognizing Skopje by the name of Macedonia.”

Greece’s counter-terror unit and intelligence service are said to be monitoring the increasingly militant online presence and activities of at least three groups disseminating such far-right polemics.