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Greece arrests 4 left-wing terrorist bank robbers

February 12, 2013

Anarchist cell sought to finance terrorism

Four Greek radicals from the group Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire have been arrested after two simultaneous robberies on Feb. 1.

The guerrilla group’s 2011 essay, “The Sun Still Rises,” calls for “the rejection of work via holdups and robberies directed at the belly of the capitalist beast — the banks — with the goal being individual liberation from the eight-hour blackmail of wage-slavery on the one hand, and collective appropriation of and direct access to money for infrastructural needs and revolutionary projects on the other.”

Leftist radicals in Europe have often used bank robberies to finance terrorist activities—a tactic known as “expropriation of the private banks” endorsed long ago by Leon Trotsky.

From Kathimerini, a daily newspaper out of Athens:

Police probe terror link to bank heists

Two of four suspects detained in connection with a double bank heist near Kozani in northern Greece on Friday, are believed to be behind a series of bank robberies carried out to finance the creation of a new urban guerrilla group, Kathimerini understands.

Police had in 2011 issued arrest warrants against the two for membership of the terrorist organization Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire after physical evidence was found at suspected hideouts in Volos, central Greece, and Kallithea in Athens.

The two allegedly maintained contact with Christos Tsakalos, Giorgos Nikolopoulos and Damiano Bolano, who were convicted last year over a series of bloodless bomb attacks in 2009 and 2010.

One of the two suspects, a 24-year-old identified only as G.M., had been previously detained during a protest rally in Syntagma in February 2011 after he tried to shoot at police with a bow-and-arrow. He has since been dubbed the “Syntagma archer.”

The same person is also believed to have taken part in a fatal bank robbery on Paros last year, after which 29-year old Tasos Theofilou was charged with the murder of taxi driver Dimitris Michas, who was shot dead while trying to stop the gang from escaping after the heist. Theofilou was also charged for membership of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire.

Investigators have said that the island raid – like others being planned – was aimed at raising funds for terrorist activity. In a letter posted on the Internet after the Paros robbery, G.M. had allegedly expressed solidarity with the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, the police has linked the same two suspects with the Agricultural Bank robbery in Florina, northern Greece, last November…

The Associated Press reports that four more suspects from the group are still being sought.  In all, the eight anarchist robbers “took €175,000 ($240,000) from the bank and €4,000 ($5,500) from the post office.”

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