The Western world was recently rocked by a coordinated mail bomb attack. The targets were government officials, apparently in an attempt to terrorize citizens into giving in to some political agenda. A textbook case of terrorism, no?
If you live by the myopic mantra, “All terrorists are Muslims” then you think I’m probably talking about the recent mail bomb plot from Yemen; a plot which was foiled by Muslims from Saudi Arabia and condemned by Muslims in America (but anti-Muslim rabble-rouser Robert Spencer epically failed to mention those inconvenient facts, as he usually does).
No sir, I’m talking about the recent wave of mail bombs in Greece. The culprit appears to be the “radical anarchist” group Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire or another like-minded group of terrorists.
Does this mean there is something intrinsic to Greek culture that produces terrorists like these? This isn’t the only terrorist group in Greece. You may recall that the U.S. embassy in Athens was attacked with anti-tank grenades by a similar terrorist group. And the U.S. State department noted the recent spike in Greek domestic terrorism in the last two years.
So do we have a “Greek problem?” Should we blame the disturbing proliferation of Greek anarchist terrorists on the pernicious influence of Zeno’s Republic? I think not. But no such fair-minded rational conclusions will you get from the anti-Muslim blogosphere’s perpetual Muslim-bashing imagination fantasy land.
Why? Because if the terrorists are Muslims, then they magically represent the norm for all Muslims in all times and all places forever until the end of time (despite extensive empirical evidence debunking this prejudice). However, if the terrorists are not Muslims, then they represent only the teeny tiny lunatic fringe of an otherwise virtuous, morally upright society.
Such is the myopia of Islamophobic doctrine.
Mail Bomb Sent To German Leader Linked To Greece
by NPR STAFF AND WIRES
Germany’s top security official said a package received in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office Tuesday “contained an explosive device” and was mailed from Greece two days ago.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the package resembled a series of small mail bombs found in Athens over the past two days. “Based on everything that we know, it was built in the same way and visually resembled the package that exploded at the Swiss embassy in Athens,” he said.
Merkel was in Belgium when the package arrived in the mailroom of her office in Berlin. The Berliner Morgenpost newspaper reported that it contained an explosive and a flammable device, and was addressed to Merkel with the return address listed as “Greece Economy Ministry.”
Hours earlier, Greece’s capital was hit by a second day of apparently coordinated mail bomb attacks. Two small bombs exploded at the Swiss and Russian embassies in Athens, and police detonated suspicious packages at the Bulgarian embassy, outside Parliament and at a courier company.
The bombs were not particularly powerful and no one was injured Tuesday, Greek authorities said. No link was made with the recently discovered Yemen-based mail bomb plot uncovered last week.
Officials blamed the attacks on domestic extremists, and Athens police have arrested two suspects with ties to a radical leftist group. No group has claimed responsibility.
Tuesday’s explosions began when a bomb detonated in the courtyard outside a six-story building that is home to the Swiss Embassy. Swiss Foreign Ministry official Georg Farago said Athens embassy employees regarded the package as suspicious after noticing “traces of metal” on it.
“The package burst into flames when the employees removed the external wrapping of the package,” Farago said. “At the same moment, there was an explosion. No one was injured.”
Shortly afterward, a courier heading for another embassy became suspicious about a package and stopped at Parliament, where police on guard duty detonated a bomb.
The package that was exploded outside Parliament had been destined for the Chilean embassy, Ambassador Carmen Ibanez told Chile’s Radio Cooperativa.
“It was addressed to the ambassador — in this case me,” Ibanez said.
Police then found explosive devices at the Bulgarian Embassy and a central Athens courier company and set them off in controlled explosions. A fifth bomb went off on the ground of the Russian Embassy.
Police closed down sections of Athens that host embassies, and checked dozens of other potential targets, including the German and Panamanian embassies. Other embassies across Greece stepped up security after the blasts.
The explosions come a day after attacks targeting other embassies in Athens. A bomb addressed to the Mexican embassy exploded at a courier office Monday, slightly wounding an employee. Police also intercepted a bomb destined for the Dutch embassy.
Greek authorities also intercepted two Greek men carrying a mail bomb destined for the Belgian embassy and one addressed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The men, ages 22 and 24, were arrested on suspicion of plotting attacks. Police said one of them wore a bulletproof vest and that both were carrying 9mm Glock handguns.
One of the suspects is wanted in connection with an investigation into a radical anarchist group known as Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire, which has claimed responsibility for a spate of small bomb and arson attacks over the past two years.
Government spokesman George Petalotis condemned “those who try in vain to terrorize and disturb the public tranquility.”
The U.S. State Department noted in August that domestic terrorism has spiked in Greece since 2008, when days of rioting rocked the country after police shot and killed a teenager in Athens. In June, a mail bomb killed the top aide of a Greek minister.
Much of the unrest harks back to the sharp postwar divide between right and left, which led to a civil war and a seven-year military dictatorship. Although a student uprising succeeded in ending military rule in Greece in 1974, it left a legacy of activism and simmering tensions between Greece’s security establishment and deeply entrenched leftist groups that have opposed globalization and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Joanna Kakissis reported from Athens and NPR’s Eric Westervelt reported from Berlin for this story, which contains material from The Associated Press