The terror threat is still around

Luckily, the bomb attack late last month against Giorgos Voulgarakis, public order minister from 2004 and now culture minister, claimed no victims. Nevertheless in a statement sent to the press, the elusive terrorist group responsible promised to be on target next time. The terrorist assault against the New Democracy official, which took place on Doxapatri Street in downtown Athens, was the latest in a string of attacks. One of these caused the death of a young official who was guarding the house of a British diplomat in Kifissia. Domestic terrorism may have been defeated on a moral and social level, and the authorities may have succeeded in cracking down on the most lethal militant organization, but it appears that some people envied the ill-begotten fame of November 17 urban guerrillas and are now trying to imitate them – in terms of tactics as well as arrogance. Everyone hopes that the threats of the newborn terrorist organization will fail to materialize. However, these types of attacks create many problems even when they leave no casualties. They fuel insecurity among citizens, and damage the country’s foreign relations as well as its tourism sector – one that had finally begun to flourish after the successful Olympic Games in Athens. One rightfully wonders what became of the know-how gained through organizing those 2004 Games. What is the legacy of the 1.2 billion euros’ investment in anti-terrorism equipment? What is the operational capability of the police forces? How is the intelligence unit doing in collecting data on the new terrorist groups? Do other sorts of problems lurk, as is alleged by the political opposition? Security issues were discussed extensively before and during the Olympics, yet since then we act as if they no longer exist. Experience, however, shows we are wrong. The Greek authorities must be on the alert.

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