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Greek extremists threaten more bombings after Citibank attacks

Published on 13/03/2009

Athens — A Greek extremist group on Thursday threatened more bombings in the wake of two strikes targeting US bank Citibank, saying it wanted forment "revolution" amid the global economic downturn.

"We intend to continue timed (bomb) attacks," the far-left group Revolutionary Struggle said in an eight-page proclamation published in the weekly Pontiki. "We need to rid ourselves for good of all the scum of economic and political power so that humanity can free itself from these criminals."

Its aim remained to foment "revolution" and turn the global economic crisis against capitalism, the text said.

"We must create (a mass movement) here and now so that the crisis can become the system’s tomb," it added.

Greece’s most dangerous far-left organisation earlier admitted responsibility for two attacks against Citibank targets in north Athens that caused no injuries.

On Monday, the group detonated a bomb outside a Citibank branch in the northern Athens suburb of Psychiko that caused significant damage.

Last month, it placed a powerful car bomb outside the bank’s Athens headquarters that did not explode.

The bomb, consisting of two clocks, batteries and fertiliser-based explosives packed in five gas cylinders, was hidden in the car trunk and could have destroyed the entire building had it detonated, police said at the time.

"We aimed to destroy the infrastructure of this multinational company and make its presence in Greece precarious," the group said in the text published Thursday, adding that it picked Citibank "as part of a strategic intervention" on the economic crisis and its "culprits."

It also stressed that its targets were "the political and economic elite, the mechanisms of capital and the state and the police that guards them, not simple citizens.

"There is no chance of us carrying out a strike without taking the necessary measures for the safety of citizens," said the outfit, which has nevertheless injured three people since its appearance in 2003.

The police were treating the proclamation as genuine, police spokesman Panagiotis Stathis told AFP.

"The text is under investigation but it looks genuine at first glance," he said.

Revolutionary Struggle is best known for a rocket attack on the American embassy in 2007 and features on the European Union’s list of terrorist groups.

Greece has seen a wave of attacks by far-left groups following the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old by a policeman in December that also sparked protests and street violence around the country.

The protests also marked Revolutionary Struggle’s re-emergence after over a year of inactivity. Wielding assault weapons, the group carried out two shooting attacks on police and nearly killed a young officer.

Revolutionary Struggle (Epanastatikos Agonas in Greek) has also carried out small-scale bomb attacks on government buildings and an assassination attempt against a former public order minister.

Greece and the United States have offered a combined two-million-dollar (1.6-million-euro) reward for information leading to the group.

Revolutionary Struggle is considered the successor of November 17, the extremist organisation that killed 23 people between 1975 and 2000 before its demise in 2002.