News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinecabal-eliteeuropean-union — Viewing Item

Greek olympics scare blamed on home grown terrorists

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)|top|05-05-2004::09:51|reuters.html|top|05-05-2004::09:51|reuters.html

Athens Bombs Raise New Worries Over Olympics
May 5, 9:41 AM (ET)

By Karolos Grohmann
ATHENS (Reuters) - Just 100 days before the start of the Athens Olympics, three bombs exploded Wednesday outside a police station in the Greek capital raising new security concerns about the world's biggest sporting event.

The Greek government was quick to play down the blasts, saying there was no evidence to link the explosions with the games and pointed the finger at home-grown extremists.

"This is an isolated incident which does not affect whatsoever the Olympic preparation of the country," Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis told reporters.

Britain and France gave Greek Olympics organizers a vote of confidence, but Olympic powerhouse Australia ordered a review of its security arrangements. Athens police, the apparent target of the attacks, also said there was cause for concern.

"Those who planted the bombs did not want to just make themselves heard, they wanted to harm people," local police chief George Angellakos told reporters.

Security forces have been on high alert amid fears that the Games, the first summer Olympics since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, could be targeted by militants.

Britain, France and Australia are all part of a first-ever international Olympic security advisory group which includes Germany, the United States, Spain and Israel, and has been set up to provide help in planning, training and intelligence.

Greece has a record $1.22 billion security plan for the games with more than 50,000 security staff and has asked NATO for help with air and sea patrols as well as protection against weapons of mass destruction.

"Our cooperation with the EU, NATO and the U.S. authorities guarantees the safety of the Athens Olympics," said Karamanlis.


Wednesday's pre-dawn explosions, preceded by an anonymous telephone warning, badly damaged the station in the densely populated Kalithea district near hotels to be used by Olympic officials during the August 13-29 Olympics.

The third bomb went off 30 minutes after the first two blasts while dozens of bomb experts were combing the cordoned-off area for forensic evidence.

No one has yet claimed responsibility, but police said initial evidence pointed to small local anarchist and leftist groups that regularly stage minor bomb attacks around Athens, sometimes in protest against the Olympics.

Officials said the bombs -- several sticks of dynamite connected to a detonator and a clock -- were similar to devices planted by the local Revolutionary Struggle group outside Athens courts in September and a Citibank branch in March.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair told parliament the blasts should not affect the Games.

"Our present view is that the Games should go ahead as planned," he said. "We have every faith in the way the Greek authorities are handling this."

France's sports minister sounded a similar note.

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Secretary-General Bob Elphinston said his country would send a team to Athens but noted it was possible some individual athletes might pull out.

"We would never stand in the way of any athlete making a personal choice in that regard," he said.

The International Olympic Committee said Greek authorities were keeping it fully informed of events, and while some National Olympic Committees had discussed safety concerns in the wake of the Athens attacks, none had yet formally requested extra security measures be put in place.

Barraso defends delay in EU vote
Bomb threat delays french trains
Budget stalled by britain over french farm subsidies
China trade threat to european union
Chirac tells french EU protects against US
Chiracs conservative party humiliating electoral defeat { March 31 2004 }
Cocaine traces at eu parliament { July 15 2005 }
Cocaine use regular at european parliament toilets
Eu announces largest passenger jet from airbus
Eu denies supressing israel poll finding
Eu destroys individual freedom
Eu ends 12 years of libya sanctions
Eu first bosnia { January 1 2003 }
Eu furious over thai government bird flu coverup
Eu gives 125m for darfur peacekeeping { October 22 2004 }
Eu leaders reassure western balkans
Eu opposes death sentence
Eu party crashed by iraq war { April 16 2003 }
Eu phones tapped { March 21 2003 }
Eu president makes nazi comment { July 4 2003 }
Eu pressed release of thailand political leader
Eu says israel violating international law
Eu should lose powers { January 15 2003 }
Eu softens stance against bush sharon agreement { April 18 2004 }
Eu stocks test 20 month highs { March 8 2004 }
Eu supports bolivia government
EU to challenge US on china
Eu to study legality of iraq contract row
EU to test readiness for bird flu pandemic
Euro eu building [jpg]
Europe high court rules against deficit spending
Europe investigates cia abductions in europe { March 13 2005 }
Europe media lashes berlusconi eu presidency { July 1 2003 }
Europe tops US in stock market value { April 2 2007 }
European union dismantles common law
France affords free services { April 22 2002 }
France law jails for certain remarks
France secularising eu
Goldman sachs manager to head italy central bank
Greece asks nato for standby force at olympics
Greece facing massive debt for olympics { June 16 2004 }
Greek olympics scare blamed on home grown terrorists
Internet to be censored by EU
Italian leader acquitted in corruption trial
Italian prime minister investigated over bribery { December 30 2005 }
Italy mafia war in naples
Italy pm takes on eu presidency
Mafia turf war scars naples italy
NATO spy planes whips wmd units guard greece olympics { June 29 2004 }
Neo nazis march commemorating allied bombing
New polish prime minister appointed by paul bremer { May 2 2004 }
Polish president proposes delaying decision on eu voting
Poll israel and us biggest threat world peace
Pressure mounts for italy bank governor resignation { December 17 2005 }
Spain celebrates first possible queen in over 100yrs
Voters punish leaders in EU poll

Files Listed: 56


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple