The counterterrorism department of the Greek Police (ELAS) believes the culprits that planted an explosive device across the road from a police precinct next to the campus of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in Zografou, eastern Athens, Monday were young members of anti-establishment groups experimenting with bomb making, possibly linked to a group calling itself the Iconoclastic Sect.
Investigators found significant similarities between the device’s wiring with that of an bomb planted by the Sect outside the NTUA’s civil engineering department in April 2018.
The same group had planted a bomb outside the Church of Agios Dionysios in Kolonaki, central Athens, in late December last year, which exploded and injured a church employee and a police officer. As with Monday's incident, there was no warning phone call.
According to police sources, the explosive device in Monday's attack consisted of gunpowder (of the type used in large firecrackers etc) in a tightly closed metal tube inside a 5-liter plastic container filled with nails. The device had a timer.
Investigators were unable to determine when exactly the perpetrators had planned for the bomb to go off. They believe that the aim was for it to detonate either during the night or in the early morning, but this did not occur due to some kind of fault.
The bomb was found at around 9 a.m. by the police precinct chief, who noticed it as he was parking his motorcycle. A bomb disposal unit destroyed the device in a controlled explosion.
The Iconoclastic Sect has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks since last year. In one of their statements regarding the explosion in Kolonaki last December they bemoaned the fact it did not cause more mayhem. “Although the injuries were not serious and [the two wounded] escaped death by chance – because the explosion was not as strong as we thought – we learnt our lesson for the next time,” the group said at the time.
The text had been published on a Spanish-language website titled “Eco-extremist curse” (Maldicion Eco-extremista), and members of the group declared themselves members of an international federation of eco-extremists called Individualists Tending toward the Wild (ITS).