Hunt on for terrorists

Greek security officials and American FBI experts spent the weekend sifting through evidence from Friday’s missile attack on the US Embassy hoping to find clues leading to the culprits. Authorities continued to maintain that a domestic terrorist group was likely behind the attack. Revolutionary Struggle, which began its urban guerrilla campaign in September 2003, is the prime suspect. As of last night, the group had not made any further claims of responsibility other than the two calls allegedly made on Friday morning to the security firm which guards the embassy. Police sources told Sunday’s Kathimerini that Revolutionary Struggle is made up of no more than five members. One of its key members is thought to have spent time in jail and is known to authorities but is very guarded in his movements. Security officials think the group had contact with November 17 members before they were jailed in 2002 but the bonds between the two groups are not thought to be strong. Kathimerini understands that American and British officials have recently expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s under-use of the terrorist squad which was formed in the runup to the Athens Olympics and which played a significant role in tracking down N17 members. Some of the squad members were allegedly allowed to move to other departments and British diplomats were surprised by the decision by former public order minister Giorgos Voulgarakis to put the police and not the anti-terrorism squad in charge of investigating the murder of a guard outside the British military attache’s residence on New Year’s Eve in 2004. Meanwhile, there were reports on Saturday that police were interviewing 10 witnesses who claim to have seen up to four people fleeing on foot after the anti-tank missile struck the embassy. Authorities said the rocket-propelled grenade was fired from a side street opposite the embassy. Apart from removing a parked car from the street, officers have also collected discarded cigarette butts and chewing gum for forensic tests. Nobody was injured when the shoulder-fired missile smashed through a window and damaged a third-floor bathroom near the office of Ambassador Charles Ries.

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