Picture: To Vima
The Greek police have recently been expressing concerns that mid-summer may be marked by a sudden and massive terrorist attack. These concerns started when it was found, with a delay, that Nikos Maziotis and Panagiota Roupa, arrested for participation in the terrorist group Revolutionary Struggle, have disappeared from the sight of authorities. Now their re-arrest is more than a matter of honour to police officers, who claim that "Maziotis will have many opportunities and occasions to carry out an armed attack at any moment."
"In the last month the 42-year-old man and his girlfriend Pola (shortened for Panagiota) Roupa, together with hithertp unknown associates, have already organized a new armed group and are likely to use, at first, the arsenal of the defeated group Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, which the authorities have not found yet", said senior police officials for To Vima newspaper. They express concerns that "this new group can arrange for the kidnapping of a businessman, a politician or a government related person, although participants in the Greek guerrilla activity in the cities have not used such tactics until now."
The police believe that Nikos Maziotis and Pola Roupa are most probably hiding in an unknown hideout in one of the Athenian suburbs, "as the previous two occasions in 1997 and 2010, when we were searching for the couple and found them in the suburbs of Kamatero and Kalivia". The order for their arrest has been sent to all police stations, but data collected so far are scarce. At the same time, the Anti-Terrorist Unit is watching closely 3-4 people, thought to be members of the "political council" of the organizations for political violence in Greece. Authorities believe that precisely they had organized the "disappearance" of Maziotis and Roupa, after which they secured them a hiding-place and cash resources.
After latest data analysis, antiterrorists think that Maziotis and Roupa have been making plans for their "great escape" since their release from custody in October last year. In parallel, they have prepared the organization of a new armed group.
"During the trial, they were constantly taking responsibility for the actions of Revolutionary Struggle, and were stressing the need for armed actions against the country's political and economic system. They kept saying that Revolutionary Struggle was still functioning, as if the organization has never been broken up by the authorities. The economic crisis was an additional "trump card" in their argumentation. However, in order not to raise doubts, they were quite strict when they had to appear in court and for verification at the police department in the neighbourhood of Exarcheia. Therefore, we believe that during all these months the couple has been preparing a new group which might be named Revolutionary Struggle again or something similar. We are afraid that this time there won't be an intermediate stage for gathering new members, weapons and explosives and securing new secret meeting-places. This preparation has probably already been made in the last six months, while we weren't suspecting anything. "
Antiterrorists have already been watching a few people who are known to "have patronized" Nikos Maziotis and his associates in the organization of a new guerrilla combat in the urban environment, when the group Revolutionary Struggle was broken up in the spring of 2010. These are old anarchists, whose names became known after analysis of data found in the cars used by the organization's members. These specific anarchists have played a key role in the "alliance" between Revolutionary Struggle and Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei in 2009-2010. Moreover, the same people have helped to supply Revolutionary Struggle with weapons and cars from a group of anarchists in Thessaloniki.
It is considered that they have also played a role in the theft of explosives from a warehouse in the Phocis region in the summer of 2003, in the financing of Revolutionary Struggle through robbery, as well as in making false documents and identity cards. It is this "secondary" group which has helped Nikos Maziotis and Pola Roupa disappear, antiterrorists believe.
The police do not preclude that the new group is using for a secret hiding-place the armoury, which had also been used in the last months before the members of Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei were arrested and which authorities have not yet discovered. As shown by the investigations from 2010 - 2011, DNA found in a hiding-place of the Revolutionary Struggle in the Athenian neighbourhood of Kypseli, was also found in the apartment used by the Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei. Both groups have exchanged explosives as well.
The police are investigating all regions for which there is evidence that Nikos Maziotis has ever acted. At the same time they are investigating the possibility that he and Pola Roupa have fled to Italy, Spain or Central America, where it is known that Maziotis has contacts.
According to some senior police officials and analysts, it is not excluded that Maziotis's next step be the kidnapping of an influential person, in order to take ransom or with the request for his associates, who are in prison, to be released. Other commentators argue that in the history of Greek terrorist groups there is only one case of kidnapping. In 1974 leaders of the group 17 November proposed for their comrades to kidnap the then CIA Commissioner, predecessor of assassinated, in the following year, Richard Wells. Kidnapping would have been for the sole purpose of causing public interest but it never happened.
Antiterrorists express their huge interest in the way "a new armed group will act, after it is clear who its leaders will be and what will be written in its manifestos".