Greece plans new arrests linking November 17 with other groups

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

ATHENS Greece has determined that the November 17 organization, which was responsible for the assassination of CIA station chief in Athens Richard Welch in 1975, had links to other insurgency groups.

Officials said more people would be arrested over the next few days, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the arrests could demonstrate the link between November 17 and other insurgency groups.

Officials said intelligence and security agencies are examining November 17 ties to insurgency groups active in the 1970s and 1980s. They include such groups as the as Revolutionary Popular Struggle, known as the ELA; the May 1 organization and Revolutionary Cells.

November 17 blamed the CIA for helping the military junta in Greece maintain power from 1967 to 1974.

The suggestion of such a link was first disclosed during the investigation of November 17 agents captured over the last six months. So far, 19 suspected insurgents have been arrested, including those believed to have led the group.

The arrests would probably be announced in February and would relate to November 17 ties to the ELA. Officials said up to 10 more people are being sought.

Officials have disclosed that November 17 employed blackmail to obtain money. They said the organization obtained large amounts of money from senior clerics in the Greek Orthodox Church by threatening to release damaging personal details of their lives.

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