by Aggelos Skordas
Greek Police Counter Terrorism Department has cracked down an ultra violent neo-Nazi group, responsible for numerous bombing attacks against leftist and migrant related targets. Six men were arrested on Tuesday morning during an operation in greater Athens and two provincial towns. The suspects are allegedly members of the Greek branch of the extreme right wing group “Combat 18” also known as “C18”, which operates in various countries. Of the six individuals arrested, four or five are expected to face charges, related to some 30 arson attacks.
An official statement issued by the Greek Police reads that in the safe houses of those arrested counter terrorist squads confiscated shotguns, numerous Molotov cocktail bombs, 50 kilograms of various explosives, knives, bludgeons, far right banners, flags, books, leaflets and other propaganda material as well as drugs.
Among others, the suspects (among them a lawyer, reportedly the leader and edifier of the group) are facing charges of setting up and running a criminal organization and are linked with the defacement of the memorial dedicated to Pavlos Fyssas, a rapper and leftist activist stabbed to death by far right wing Golden Dawn member Giorgos Roupakias on the night of 17 September 2013 in the district of Keratsini.
Moreover, they are being investigated for the attack against the anti-fascist, free social center “Favela” in Piraeus on February which resulted to the severe injury of five people as well as for the burning of an anarchist squat in Theesaloniki after the “Macedonia is Greek” rally. In general, Police investigations leading to the detentions concerned more than 20 attacks carried out in recent months, for which the specific organisation has claimed responsibility with posts on a far-right website. In the past the group also claimed responsibility for attacks against anarchist squats “Strouga” and “Distomo” in Athens districts of Nea Filadelfeia and Agios Panteleimon respectively. Police sources indicate that more residential searches are underway.
Alternate Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection Nikos Toskas greeted on the arrest of the six people. “The serpent’s egg will not hatch in our country. Greek police is working methodically to protect society”, a tweet posted in his personal account reads.
“Combat 18” originated in the United Kingdom in the early ‘90s and has since spread to many countries. Its members have been suspected in numerous deaths of immigrants, non-whites, and even other “C18” members. The “18” in its name is derived from the initials of Adolf (starting with the first letter of the alphabet) Hitler (starting with the eighth letter of the alphabet). The Greek branch of the neo-Nazi group was allegedly set up five years ago and has ties with another violent extreme right group named “Nonalinged Nationalist Meanders” as well as with former and Golden Dawn members.