ATHENS Ñ Greece and its allies expect an attack by anarchist groups
on the 2004 Olympic Games later this year.
Greek officials said Western intelligence services have determined that
anarchist groups have been cooperating in gathering information and
exchanging resources for plans to attack the games in August. The
counter-insurgency divisions of several intelligence agencies met in the
Hague to discuss assessments of attacks in European Union states.
"We have an absolute need for an exchange of information between our
services and to monitor and control the movements of these persons because
the Olympic Games due to take place in August could be the target of
anarchists," Greece's counter-terrorism service director Stylianos Syros
Syros, who participated in the Hague session, told the Republica daily
that Greece was receiving cooperation from counter-insurgency services of EU
states. The Hague meeting was attended by Belgium, Britain, Germany, Italy,
the Netherlands and Spain. Anarchists arrived in Greece in June 2003 in an
attempt to disrupt an EU summit in the northern Greece port of Thessaloniki.
Earlier, Greece was warned that Al Qaida and related groups could be
targeting the Olympics as well. Officials said Al Qaida was believed to have
been planning to infiltrate agents into Greece under the guise of illegal
In Washington, Greek Public Order Minister George Floridis has completed
a two-day visit to discuss security cooperation with the United States.
Floridis met National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, CIA director George
Tenet and other senior administration officials to discuss security at the
Olympic Games in Athens in August 2004. The meeting included Greece's
National Intelligence Service chief Loukas Apostolidis.
Floridis said an Olympics security exercise between Greece and the
United States would proceed in March. Earlier, Greece had scheduled the
exercise in February, during the parliamentary campaign.
"The exercise will take place as scheduled," Floridis said. "It is
currently in the planning stage and progressing very well."
Officials said the security exercise was unprecedented in size. They
said it would include simulation and actual forces and take place from March
10 to 23. This would follow the swearing-in of the government that would
emerge from the March 7 general elections in Greece.