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Police fear an escalation of terrorism

08 January 2014 / 15:01:58  GRReporter
4756 reads

Three days after the disappearance of Christodoulos Xiros, who is convicted of involvement in the terrorist group "17 November", the Greek police link his decision not to return to prison with the attempt to renew the activities of the so-called "urban guerrilla warfare". The 56-year-old terrorist, who is serving a 6-fold life sentence, violated his 9-day leave from prison by failing to appear at the police station on Sunday and he has been considered a fugitive since then.

According to representatives of the anti-terrorist services, Xiros’ purpose is to join again the ranks of armed violence, which his defender Frangiskos Rangousis confirms in a statement for Kathimerini newspaper: "The moment calls for inciting the public. Christodoulos Xiros will return to prison only if found and arrested."

A photo from the trial against the members of "17 November" which took place in a specially adapted hall in Korydallos prison

The terrorist had received a 9-day leave from Korydallos prison to visit his relatives in the seaside town of Nea Kalikratia, Thessaloniki, from 1 January to 9 January, on condition that he would stay at his parents’ house. For the first time he had also received special permission to visit, for one day, his sister, who lives in Thessaloniki. Police sources claim that until last Sunday Xiros had regularly visited the police station in Nea Kalikratia to declare his presence, accompanied by his sister or one of his nephews.

The leave in question is the seventh in a row obtained by Xiros from September 2012 to this day. During previous leaves, he had visited his parents and stayed at their house in Nea Kalikratia, and had been allowed to go to his native island of Ikaria only once.

The main task of the investigation is to establish whether on 31 December Xiros had visited members of the "Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei" who are serving their sentences in cells in another wing of Korydallos prison.

The head of "17 November", Alexandros Giotopoulos

Senior police officials express concerns about a possible attack by the group, which is the successor to "17 November" reads a publication in To Vima newspaper. According to the information available to it, some participants in the attack on the headquarters of New Democracy in January 2013 and in the recent attack on the residence of the German ambassador in Halandri are in contact with convicted members of "17 November" through another person. For this reason, the police authorities define the escape of Christodoulos Xiros, who played a leading role in the murders of the victims of "17 November" and especially in the launch of the grenades, as "no coincidence".

Dimitris Koufodinas

It is already clear that after the escape of Christodoulos Xiros and the transfer of his brother Savas Xiros to the hospital in Larissa only 4 of the 16 convicted members of "17 November" are in prison. 11 years after the trial, the following members of the terrorist group are in Korydallos: the head of the group, Alexandros Giotopoulos, the chief organiser of the attacks, Dimitris Koufodinas, Vasilis Dzordzatos and Iraklis Kostaris. The latter two also obtained leaves from prison.

Police representatives stress the fact that, in many of his interviews from prison in recent years, Christodoulos Xiros has described "the popular counter violence" as particularly positive. It is worth noting that he and other members of "17 November" are convicted of 23 murders, 184 attempted murders, 77 cases of inflicting injuries on their victims, 13 robberies and dozens of bombings.

"Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei", which is considered as the successor to the old generation of terrorists, was not late in expressing its approval of Christodoulos Xiros’ escape. The members of the group who are in prison have published online the following text:

"The urban guerrilla Christodoulos Xiros is relentlessly walking in the country of freedom. This country is very far away from those who have forgotten about the attack and yielded to the hope for change, without going through fire and water for the sake of it.

This country is very close to those who were dedicated to the fight and still live with the desire to contribute even more to it.

This is where life, friendship and rebellion are born... in major denials and difficult decisions.

Comrade, good luck...

We wish the unrepentant prisoners from "17 November" courage.

THE TIME OF THE ATTACK HAS COME

PS: Journalists - crows, your lies will bury you. Keep your double tongues away from our comrade.

Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei FAI/IRF (Prison core)."

Tags: Crime newsChristodoulos Xiros17 NovemberTerrorismPrisonEscapeConspiracy of Fire Nuclei
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