The United States remains dissatisfied with Greece's
efforts against insurgency groups. Officials said Athens still harbors groups deemed as
"There are some terrorist groups that have offices in Athens, and it's
the position of the United States that, you know, we would like these
offices closed," State Department counterterrorism coordinator Cofer Black
Black did not elaborate. But he added that Greece has achieved what
he termed "tremendous progress" against insurgency groups over the last
year. He pointed to the arrest of many members of the November 17 group,
which has assassinated several Americans in the 1970s and 1980s.
"They've taken an organization that has been the subject of decades of
law enforcement activity and investigation, made tremendous progress there,"
Black said. "People have been arrested, trials are under way, and we expect
justice to be done. So I would say that the progress that has been made by
Athens is significant and is in the sort of leadership level in the world."
The State Department's dissatisfaction with Greece's record against
terrorism confirms earlier statements by U.S. ambassador to Athens, Thomas
Miller. Miller angered Greek government leaders by his assertion that
leading members of November 17 remain at large.
The State Department issued its annual report on terrorism, entitled
"Patterns of Global Terrorism 2002." The report did not cite any examples of
Greece's failures in the war against terrorism.
"The Greek Government’s record against transnational terrorist groups is
mixed," the report said.
But the report said Greece has failed to comply with European Union
counterterrorism regulations. This included the introduction of
counterterrorism legislation mandating minimum sentences for terrorists and
extending the statute of limitations for terrorist-related homicides from 20
to 30 years, in early 2003. Greece also pledged counterterrorism cooperation
with its neighbors Romania and Bulgaria.
"Police also have been seeking evidence that will allow them to arrest
members of Greece's other domestic terrorist groups, including Revolutionary
Nuclei, its predecessor Revolutionary Peoples' Struggle, and 1 May," the
report said. "Despite the high-profile arrests, other leftist groups and
anarchists conducted low-level attacks and demonstrations in Athens and
Thessaloniki. The number of anti-U.S. terrorist attacks — all nonlethal —
rose from 2001’s low of three to seven."