Terrorism warnings were ignored

Police chiefs had been warned in February, four months before officer Nektarios Savvas was shot while guarding a witness, that a new terrorist group would emerge, aiming to kill a policeman. Sources revealed to Sunday’s Kathimerini that experts in the police’s anti-terrorism unit began compiling a detailed report on domestic terrorism after a series of attacks last December. The report suggested there would be a response to calls by the established group Revolutionary Struggle for more terrorist factions to emerge. Just days after the report was submitted to Interior Ministry officials, a new group, Sect of Revolutionaries, issued its first proclamation. Sources said the report was not followed up on. Similarly, Kathimerini understands that the Interior Ministry has failed to act on the proposals of British terrorism experts as to how the department responsible for dealing with acts of extreme violence should be structured. The Scotland Yard officers had proposed that the department be split into three sections, one dealing with information, another with setting up and carrying out operations and a third to deal with the investigative aspect of the work. Sources said that these changes did not take place, as it would have meant a shift in the balance of power within the anti-terrorism and wider police ranks, which some senior officers were not comfortable with. As of last night, there appeared to be no new leads in the probe into the murder of Savvas, who was shot dead near central Athens on Wednesday. Meanwhile, police are treating with skepticism the claim by known anarchist Nikos Kountardas that he shot a police special guard outside the British defense attache’s residence on New Year’s Eve 2004. Sources said that Kountardas has not been able to describe the sequence of events that night to officers and could not reveal where the MP5 submachine gun stolen from the guard is now.