'Police tried to track down domestic terrorists this summer by enlisting the help of a convicted criminal to sell them a weapon that officers could then trace, despite the failure of a similar scheme when authorities were trying to pinpoint members of November 17 several years ago.
Sources revealed to Kathimerini yesterday that last July officers, acting with the knowledge of their political superiors in the Interior Ministry, approached a prisoner serving a life sentence for his part in a bloody robbery in Piraeus in 1990, to act as a middleman in dealings with suspected terrorists.
The convict was instructed to contact a fellow inmate known to have links with anarchists who were on the anti-terrorist squad’s list of prime suspects.
The police’s middleman was asked to arrange a meeting between the anarchists and the convict’s supposed underworld contacts to buy a weapon. The rendezvous went ahead at a cafeteria in the northern Athens suburb of Aghios Stefanos. Police used covert surveillance methods to monitor the meeting but it appears that the two sides, for reasons not made clear, could not agree on a deal.
The police’s operation really fell apart when the anarchists attending the meeting were able to evade the attention of undercover officers by speeding off on high-powered motorcycles, which the members of the anti-terrorist squad were unable to follow.
The failure of the operation mirrors a similar attempt to entrap members of the November 17 group some years ago. Then, the anti-terrorist squad cooperated with the National Intelligence Service, and the USA’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to pass on weapons that had been fitted with tiny tracking devices to suspected terrorists.
Although the transaction was made, when the authorities traced the signal from the devices, they were led to a garbage dumpster and, thus, were not able to arrest anyone.'
from Greek daily Kathimerini, 13/11/2009