Police fear birth of extremist faction

A homemade bomb that was deposited outside a policy research institute in a busy Athens district yesterday but was deactivated before it could explode is probably the work of a new terrorist group that is just beginning to cut its teeth, police have told Kathimerini. Bomb disposal experts conducted a controlled explosion of the device following three anonymous calls – to police and two media organizations – warning that an explosion was about to occur outside the offices of the European Economic and Social Committee in the district of Neos Cosmos. Police expressed concern, saying the style of the threatened attack and the makeup of the bomb «did not bear the hallmark of any existing organizations.» Since terror group November 17 was broken up in 2002, a handful of groups, including Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) and Revolutionary Cells, have been operating, staging destructive but bloodless attacks. The device police found in Neos Cosmos yesterday – quantities of ammonia inside a metal box – would have been activated by mobile telephone, according to experts. Police said a similar bomb has only been used twice before to their knowledge, most recently to trigger an explosion outside an office block accommodating German-owned enterprises in the northern suburb of Maroussi. Police fear that a bomb blast that occurred outside a luxury car showroom in the southern suburb of Alimos early yesterday, destroying several vehicles, may also have been the work of a new group, as some 2 kilos of ammonia dynamite had been used in the device.