Police targeted again

An attack on a police station in northern Athens early on Monday, involving two assailants firing several rounds from a semiautomatic weapon and setting off a grenade, is the work of a «new breed» of domestic terrorist, police sources have told Kathimerini. Monday’s attack on the police station in Nea Ionia is believed to have involved two assailants who fired 30 shots at the building and hurled a grenade before speeding off on a motorcycle. No one was injured in the attack which, police believe, was not aimed at shedding blood. Several cars and the windows of adjacent apartment blocks were damaged. According to police, the perpetrators may be members of a new generation of terrorists who took over from November 17 and Revolutionary People’s Struggle (ELA), or they may be extremists from anti-establishment groups who «are on the brink of forming a new hub of terrorism.» This conclusion was reached after ballistic tests showed that bullets found at the scene of the Nea Ionia attack were the same type as those in two submachine guns stolen from guards in Athens, in a raid last month and another in December 2004 in which an officer was killed. Officers said they were not ruling out the possibility of another attack against a police target. «Unlike the old type of terrorists, these have chosen the tactic of successive hits,» a senior official told Kathimerini. «They are not going to stop – they probably want to achieve something bigger, maybe a political victory like a change in the police leadership,» another top-ranking official said. Police are also expecting the perpetrators to claim responsibility for a recent string of attacks. «The nature and development of their activities warrant a proclamation claiming responsibility,» the official said. Meanwhile, security outside the capital’s police stations has been increased. Monday’s attack followed a series of recent assaults by suspected anarchists as well as nationwide prison riots. Yesterday afternoon a separate attack involving suspected anarchists targeted opposition PASOK’s central headquarters in Athens. A shower of stones and bottles failed to cause serious damage and a homemade bomb extinguished on the ground outside the building.