Not quite over yet

The fact that no one was killed in yesterday’s blind bomb attacks at Athens’s main court complex must not lead us to underestimate the incident. The perpetrators of the most serious terrorist assault since the crackdown on the core leadership of November 17 urban guerrilla group managed to hide in the closely guarded compounds, to avoid closed-circuit cameras and to get away without leaving any trace, after placing their explosive devices with one clear goal – to kill people. The first bomb was used as a decoy to lure police officers that were the target of the second, more powerful blast. The timing of the blast, which occurred as Alexandros Yotopoulos, N17’s alleged mastermind, took the stand for the first time, was not a coincidence. A similar explosion occurred a few weeks ago during the testimony of N17 gunman Dimitris Koufodinas. In both cases, the message of the perpetrators was plain and clear: Despite the disruption of N17, the armed struggle will continue. This is a very alarming message given that Greece is in the final stretch for next year’s Olympic Games. The clampdown on N17 was no doubt a devastating blow to domestic terrorism. However, as yesterday’s blasts demonstrate, the scourge of terrorism has not been completely eradicated yet. Besides, history in other countries, such as Germany and Italy, has many examples of organizations that came back to life, were reincarnated or simply resurfaced – even if on a smaller scale. Such observations lead us to a self-evident conclusion: A phenomenon that has bedeviled our country for three decades cannot simply be uprooted in a month’s time, even after a highly successful police operation. The struggle will be a long one and it requires a collective effort – including the media – in order to create the necessary social antibodies that protect every republic. The fact that a section of the media treated the trial of N17 as a publicity stunt – which sometimes resulted in a heroic portrait being painted of some of the suspects – was not a good omen. Let’s hope that yesterday’s blasts will awaken those who hail threats that belong not only to the past but also to the future.

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