Hunt begins for new terrorists

The terrorists behind last week’s bomb attack against Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis most likely had contact in the past with members of November 17 but do not appear to be as well-drilled, police sources told Sunday’s Kathimerini. Members of the Revolutionary Struggle group are the key suspects in last Tuesday’s attack, which slightly injured a passing policeman and damaged four cars. Voulgarakis and his family, who live 200 meters from where the bomb went off, narrowly missed being hit by the explosion. Revolutionary Struggle has been the most active group since authorities caught up with N17 in 2003. It has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks, including the bombing of two ministries and a riot police bus. Police believe that the terrorists are between 28 and 45 years old and that some likely cooperated with N17 members. Sources said the cell consists of only a few members, and that these have not been well trained in bomb-making techniques or in staging attacks on chosen targets. Police base this assessment on the fact that the terrorists failed to detonate Tuesday’s bomb at the right time even though they had discovered a weak spot in the security around Voulgarakis – one of the most tightly guarded ministers. Sources admitted the device had been placed at a spot on Lycabettus Hill where passing cars are forced to slow down and the ministerial car usually performs a U-turn. The botched attack on Voulgarakis was the first strike against a specific person for several years, prompting fears that the current crop of terrorists could be planning to follow new tactics, sources added. Police are particularly worried that the reckless nature of the attacks will soon result in bystanders being injured or killed. There were several homes and a school in the area near where Tuesday’s bomb exploded, and officers believe it was a matter of luck that only a policeman conducting a security check was slightly injured in the blast.

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