NEWS

Scotland Yard called in

Counter-terrorism experts from Britain’s Scotland Yard, who helped Greek authorities break up the left-wing militant group November 17 in 2003, are due back in Athens today to advise their Greek counterparts on how to tackle an emerging terror threat and burgeoning crime in the capital, it has emerged. Sources have told Kathimerini that the appeal to Scotland Yard was made by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis last week following an upsurge in domestic terrorist attacks and street violence. The British delegation is expected to provide advice on restructuring Greece’s counter-terrorism unit and to recommend tactics for curbing the spiralling lawlessness that has taken over the capital since the police killing of a teenager in central Exarchia last December. Christos Kalamatianos, a Briton of Greek origin who worked with Greek police to disband November 17, will again be offering his expertise to Greek counterparts. Scotland Yard’s chief Sir Ian Blair, one of the world’s top counter-terrorism experts, is also expected to visit Athens over the next few days to provide his insight into the problem. The British police delegation is expected to focus on helping Greek counterparts tackle an emerging terror threat. This will be the priority, as it is feared that established terror group Revolutionary Struggle and the newly emerged Sect of Revolutionaries have recruited new members since the December riots and have acquired large quantities of arms and explosives. But the British experts are also expected to offer advice on how to curb so-called «low-level terrorism,» such as the vandalism of stores and cars in central Athens and Thessaloniki last Friday and a crime wave that has resulted in almost daily robberies. The arrival of the British officers is also expected to resurrect an investigation into the case of the «Seisidis brothers» who are believed to have planned and carried out an armed robbery of a central Athens bank in January 2006, which resulted in the injury of one of the perpetrators.