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Greece: Revolutionary Struggle – Longevity

Highlights – EA’s small membership structure has allowed it to evade authorities, for now – Shift to bolder tactics may result in a near-term and devastating clash with police – Groupings of young anarchists are likely to mimic EA tactics in the near-term Since 2003, the emergence of the small, radical leftist group, Revolutionary Struggle (Epanastatikos Aghonas or EA) has proven to be a difficult challenge for Greek authorities. The group is relatively small, abides by a strict anti-capitalist and anti-Greek government agenda, and has committed a series of small-scale bombings and shootings against government buildings and police officers. Evading capture for nearly six years underscores the group’s elusive and underground operational capabilities. Nevertheless, the group’s longevity and ability to wage a long-term campaign may not be feasible, or in its best interest. The Fate of N17 EA’s predecessor, Revolutionary Organization 17 November (N17), also operated as a small and secure organization on an anti-Western platform. N17 committed its first attack in 1975 and remained active until 2002. The 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, however, proved the ultimate downfall of N17. Calls by western nations for greater security intensified, subsequently leading to the 2002 anti-terrorism crackdown on N17 members, and the ensuing 2003 trial that sent 15 of the group’s top members to prison to serve life sentences. If Greek authorities learned from the 2002 crackdown on N17, then it will only be a matter of time before they make a breakthrough on EA in the coming years. In addition, while the group holds a small membership and structure, a recent shift in tactics may result in a potentially disastrous confrontation with police. For example, EA began primarily targeting high-profile government and police property with small-scale IED’s. Yet, the 2007 US embassy RPG attack and the latest shooting of the police officer in January 2009 highlight this shift in tactics. Utilizing a potentially deadly but high-risk method of attack, such as a drive by shooting on a police sentry tower, as opposed to a low-risk timed improvised explosive device, may result in an unwanted firefight between a EA militants and a vengeful Greek police unit. Although this shift in tactics presents more risks to the group’s longevity, the ongoing political turmoil and unrest in Athens provides the ideal opportunity to attack an overwhelmed and preoccupied Greek riot-police force. Following Suit It may prove more beneficial for EA to attempt more high-profile attacks in the near-term to capitalize on the current unstable environment in Athens, and hope fellow leftists and anarchists follow suit. In fact, a previously unknown group named Sect of Revolutionaries claimed responsibility for a February 3, 2009 shooting on a police station in the Athens suburb of Korydallos . According to a data disk left found by police, the new leftist group stated, “Our aim was to execute them…They were lucky, we were unlucky, next time they will not have luck on their side.” Further, the group vows, “To those who are already wondering why we chose some random cops and not a high-ranking official, a prominent journalist, a state functionary or at least a capitalist, we answer that their turn will come” (Source). Greek officials suspect that the new claim is authentic. This development highlights the precarious situation for Greek authorities. Even if authorities crack down on EA operations in the near to mid-term, another previously unknown but inspired anarchist or leftist group could step into its place. However, this situation is favorable for Greek authorities. Comparing communiqués of the Sect of Revolutionaries with that of EA underlines the new group’s lack of experience, overall direction and

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