Police fear bank bomb signals new wave of attacks

Police fear bank bomb signals new wave of attacks

Officials at the Greek Police (ELAS) expressed concerns on Thursday about a possible resurgence of domestic terrorism after a small explosive device detonated outside a building housing the offices of Eurobank in central Athens late on Wednesday, damaging its premises and blowing out the windows of adjacent buildings.

According to those sources, the likeliest scenario is that existing guerrilla groups have recruited new members and are resuming attacks. The sources said they fear further hits, chiefly on banks and business targets, in the coming weeks and months.

By late Thursday night there had been no claim of responsibility for the attack on Eurobank which caused damage but no injuries.

Police sources were seeking to establish whether the perpetrators behind Wednesday night’s attack could belong to the same group that targeted a police precinct in Dafni, southern Athens, in February and the Labor Ministry offices in central Athens last December.

Unidentified perpetrators planted a hand grenade outside the Dafni precinct and a bomb outside the ministry offices but, in both cases, the devices were defused before they detonated.

Police sources indicated that they are examining two possible scenarios in connection with Wednesday night’s bomb. The first is that the perpetrators are accomplices of Panagiota Roupa, a leading member of the Revolutionary Struggle guerrilla group who was caught by police in January after several years on the run.

After the arrest, officers found two forged police identity cards believed to have been used by accomplices of Roupa who remain at large.

The second scenario being considered by ELAS is that Wednesday’s bomb was planted by newly recruited members of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire which reappeared last month, claiming responsibility for parcel bombs sent to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin and the offices of the International Monetary Fund in Paris.

The Berlin bomb was intercepted before it could go off in the ministry but the Paris one detonated, injuring an IMF employee.

Either way, the new blast signals a resurgence of guerrilla activity, police sources said.

“The attack on the offices of Eurobank, as well as those over the past few months, constitute a new cycle of terrorist activity, which is not going to end soon,” an officer from the police’s counter-terrorism department told Kathimerini.

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