NEWS

Gaps exposed in terrorism probe

A search by officers at the scene of the first recent attack on police claimed by the terrorist group Revolutionary Struggle failed to reveal that one of the guns used to fire at a riot police bus was a semi-automatic weapon that had been used by the group before, a fact revealed only by the urban guerrillas in their proclamation last week. Officially, the police have said that none of the evidence gathered at the scene of the December 23 shooting in Goudi indicated that one of the firearms used in the attack was an MP5 submachine gun that had been stolen from a police guard in spring 2007 and was used to fire at a police station in Nea Ionia just a few days later. This attack was also claimed by Revolutionary Struggle. Police sources have told Kathimerini that the discovery of a 9 mm cartridge case at Goudi should have led officers to conduct a more thorough search for evidence as well as prompting them to link it to previous attacks. It has been suggested that officers thought the casing indicated a handgun had been used. The apparent oversight has raised questions about the thoroughness and know-how of Greece’s anti-terrorist squad. Kathimerini understands that the US and British embassies in Athens have expressed concern about the lack of progress in tracking down the members of Revolutionary Struggle, which also claimed the January 5 attack on three police officers that seriously injured one of them. Police sources said that progress had been made in 2007 in the monitoring of potential terrorism suspects after orders from then public order minister Vyron Polydoras, but things stalled after he was replaced in September of that year. Also, judging by the proclamation, which made repeated references to migrant rights, police suspect that non-Greeks have also joined Revolutionary Struggle.