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Fire Nuclei group sought in Greek bombing plot

By Melissa Bell
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A police bomb disposal expert in central Athens prepares to destroy a suspicious package returned Thursday by the French Embassy to a courier delivery service. Police said the latest package contained a small amount of explosives and was destroyed by controlled explosion. They said the return address on the package was for the Greek Orthodox Church. (Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)

Monday and Tuesday, 13 mail bombs were discovered and detonated at embassies around Athens. All of them targeted European leaders and embassies.

The Greek police are focusing their suspicions on the Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, a Greek militant group. It first came to international attention in 2008 after a spate of attacks on police authorities. In 2009, it claimed responsibility for a series of 17 bombs.

It is one of a loose network of anarchic groups in Greece, Italy and Spain, all countries where militant leftist groups have long battled with the police and authorities. The Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei lays claim to being descendants of November 17, a revolutionary group that tormented Greece for 25 years, killing 23 people. November 17 was shut down in 2002.

The groups claim to be nihilists hoping to overthrow the consumer culture of Western countries, especially the United States. They spout anarchism and anti-state sentiment. There are a number of splinter groups, including Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, that have contributed to the growing rise of political violence in Greece.

"While the rest of Europe is busy dealing with jihadi terrorism, leftist terrorist networks are being resurrected in Greece," Maria Alvanou, a lecturer in asymmetric threats at the Hellenic Military Academy, told Global Post in June after an assassination attempt on a government minister.

By Melissa Bell  | November 4, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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