The danger of left-wing terrorism in Europe

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On March 21st the Greek police intercepted eight booby-trapped packages “addressed to officials at economic institutions and companies”. On March 15, the German police intercepted a similar package addressed to the country’s Finance Minister while the day after a booby-trapped letter exploded in French IMF headquarters slightly injuring an employee.

A Greek anarchist-terror group Conspiracy of Fire Cells (CFC) claimed responsibility for the German package. Although the CFC has not claimed responsibility for the IMF attack or the eight intercepted packages, Greek authorities believe the same group is also behind those attacks. The attempted bombing in Germany and the explosive packages were probably part of “Operation Nemesis,” which is a campaign of revenge by the CFC for the imprisonment of its members.

The CFC first started using explosives in 2009 and since then has been responsible for over 150 crimes. In 2010 the group mailed parcel bombs to several embassies in Athens and to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Greek police caught the packages before they could reach their destinations.

Another anarcho-terrorist group, the Sect of Revolutionaries (SR), is responsible for the assassination of Greek journalist Sokratis Giolias in 2010. Both SR and the CFC arose as a response to the 2007 Financial Crisis, which resulted in Greece enacting austerity measures to remain solvent and pay off its $400 billion debt. The austerity measures are widely resented through Greek society, which contributed to the rise of the left-wing terrorist groups.

Many Greeks blame Germany and the E.U. for the harsh austerity measures, which the European Union, imposed on the country as part of the bail out meant to save Greece. So far the series of E.U. and IMF bailouts have done little to help the Greek population and with the country’s economy contracting last quarter Greek resentment towards Germany and other E.U. members will probably continue to grow.

Greece’s continued economic woes could drive Greece out of the E.U. and into the Russian sphere of influence. Moscow may even help push Greece out of the E.U. by providing assistance to groups like CFC, which would only increase instability in the country making Greece even more of a burden to the Union.

Right after World War II Greece almost became part of the Soviet sphere when forces from Communist Yugoslavia were providing support to Greek Communist rebels during the country’s Civil war. Although the Soviet Union never gave any direct aid to Greek communists the Greek Communist Party (KKE) did declare its loyalty to Stalin, which means there were ties between Greece’s far left and Moscow going back as far as 1946.

Russia could try to renew those ties by giving clandestine financial assistance to CFC. Moscow sending cash to a European far left terrorist groups is not so farfetched given Russian cooperation with far-left political parties. Syriza (Greece’s current governing party) considers Russia a close partner while the German Die Linke sent observers to the Crimea referendum and declared the area’s annexation by Russia to be legal.

Besides the far-left Moscow might have also extended its backing to Eurosceptic parties. For example, the French Front Nationale received a 9 million euro loan from a Russian bank in 2014. So with the current Russian support for far-left and Eurosceptic parties, it is possible that Moscow might start providing similar assistance to violent groups like CFC which also oppose the European Union.

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