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Greece

17 November Terrorists

Materials presented in chronological order.

Smith, R. Jeffrey. "U.S. Presses Greece For Action against Leftist Terror Group." Washington Post, 3 Nov. 1999, A30. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

There have been at least five terrorist attacks carried out in Athens this year by a group known as November 17. The United States has been pressing the Greek police to bring the members of the group to justice since the assassination of CIA station chief Richard Welch in November 1975. "U.S. officials say they suspect that arrests of group members have been blocked by both a lack of official interest and active opposition within the Athens government. Senior Greek security officials have rejected the accusation."

Stanley, Alessandra. "British Attaché Is Assassinated on Greek Street." New York Times, 9 Jun. 2000. [http://www.nytimes.com]

British defense attaché Brigadier Stephen Saunders "was the first British official assassinated in an attack linked to November 17, but the killing was the 23rd attributed to the group, which emerged in 1975 with the slaying of CIA station chief Richard Welch, the first of four American officials killed by the group. "In the last 25 years, no member of November 17 has been arrested, driving the State Department to identify Greece in an April report as 'one of the weakest links in Europe's effort against terrorism.'" On 5 June 2000, the U.S. National Commission on Terrorism said that Greece "was not fully cooperating against terrorism."

Carassava, Anthee. "Greece Reports First Breakthrough against Terrorist Group that Killed C.I.A. Agent in '75." New York Times, 5 Jul. 2002, A6.

Greek police have announced a breakthrough in the inquiry into the November 17 terrorist group believed to have killed CIA station chief Richard Welch in 1975. According to a police official, a botched bomb attack last weekend severely injured a foot soldier in the group and led authorities to a hide-out and a significant weapons cache in a residential building in the heart of Athens.

Carassava, Anthee. "Greek Police Find Another Arms Cache in 2nd Raid of Week." New York Times, 7 Jul. 2002, A3.

On 7 July 2002, Greek police discovered a second large weapons cache, including antitank missiles and explosives, belonging to the November 17 terrorist group. The weapons were found in a residential apartment block in central Athens. The U.S. Embassy "went on maximum alert to guard against retaliation from the group."

Carassava, Anthee. "Greeks Claim a Victory in Campaign against a Band of Political Assassins." New York Times, 19 Jul. 2002. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 17 July 2002, the Greek police arrested Alexandros Yiotopoulos, 58, identified "as one of a handful of leaders of November 17." Three other suspects, already in custody, were charged on 18 July 2002 with offenses that included first-degree murder, bomb attacks and bank robberies. The police say they have confessed and have described the crimes." See also, Daniel Williams, "Greece Catches Up to Elusive Terrorists: Arrests May Snuff Out November 17 Group," Washington Post, 19 Jul. 2002, A1.

Reuters. "Greece Arrests Suspect for First Nov. 17 Murder." 25 Jul. 2002. [http://news. lycos.com]

On 25 July 2002, Greek police arrested 46-year-old Pavlos Serifis, "a suspected member of the November 17 guerrilla band.... 'He participated with other members of the November 17 terrorist group in the murder of Athens CIA station chief Richard Welch on December 23, 1975,' police spokesman Lefteris Economou told a news conference."

Mandrou, Ioanna. "17 November Historical Member Serifis Confesses to Two Murders." To Vima (Athens), 27 Jul. 2002, 3. [FBIS-WEU-2002-0729]

[Excerpt from FBIS Translated Text] "In a confession-testimony, leading 17 November member Pavlos Serifis spoke in detail and precisely about the historical 17 November members, the first members, and its action since 1975[,] when CIA Station Chief Richard Welch was murdered[,] up to 1980."

Brousali, Dhespina, and Maria Tsoli. "Pavlos Serifis' Testimony." To Vima (Athens), 29 Aug. 2002, A8-A9. [FBIS-WEU-2002-0905]

[Excerpt from FBIS Translated Text] "Pavlos Serifis, one of the founding members of the 17 November organization,... took part in two terrorist acts (murders of Richard Welch and of Petrou/Stamoulis)."

Bruni, Frank, and Anthee Carassava. "Greece to Begin Trial Involving Long-Elusive Terror Group." New York Times, 3 Mar. 2003. [http://www.nytimes.com]

The trial of the 19 defendants accused of being part of the "November 17" terrorist group will begin on 3 March 2003.

Landler, Mark. "Greek Court Convicts 15 in 27-Year-Old Terror Group." New York Times, 9 Dec. 2003. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 8 December 2003, a court in Athens found 15 members of the radical November 17 group "guilty of a string of assassinations [including Richard Welch, the CIA station chief, in 1975], car bombings and rocket attacks that stretched over nearly three decades" and claimed 23 victims. See also, Brian Murphy, "Members of Terror Group In Greece Found Guilty," Washington Post, 9 Dec. 2003, A17.

Carassava, Anthee. "6 From Leftist Greek Terror Group Get Multiple Life Sentences." New York Times, 18 Dec. 2003. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 17 December 2003, "[a] A Greek court sentenced the leader, the chief assassin and four other members of the November 17 terrorist organization to multiple life sentences ... for a string of killings, rocket attacks, bombings and bank robberies since 1975."

Paphitis, Nicholas. "Greek Terrorists Appeal Convictions." Associated Press, 2 Dec, 2005. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Fifteen members of the November 17 group convicted in 2003 of murder and other terrorist acts "appeared in court [on 2 December 2005] to appeal their convictions."

Kassimeris, George. "Last Act in a Violent Drama? The Trial of Greece's Revolutionary Organization 17 November." Terrorism and Political Violence 18, no. 1 (2006): 137-157.

Nomikos, John M. "Terrorism, Media, and Intelligence in Greece: Capturing the 17 November Group." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 20, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 65-78.

"Throughout the first phase of domestic terrorism [1974-1989], the ... Greek elites" failed "to acknowledge the seriousness ... of the terrorist threat and the need to tackle it drastically." The assassination in September 1989 of the first Greek politician to be killed by the 17 November group "marked the end of the tolerance of terrorism by both the political establishment and the general public." After 1999, with the Olympic Games 2004 scheduled for Athens, the Greek government began to demonstrate "a dedication and ... sense of urgancy to deal with the terrorist threat."

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