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Europe's Last Red Terrorists: The Revolutionary Organization 17 NovemberSince the 1970s, Europe's last Marxist-Leninist terrorists the Greek Revolutionary Organization 17 November have waged a violent campaign against US and NATO personnel, Turkish diplomats and members of the Greeks military and business elite. In May 2000 they assassinated a top British diplomat in Athens in a daring daylight attack. Yet no one suspected of belonging to the organization, let alone of being involved in its terror campaign, has ever been arrested. This book deals with revolutionary terrorism in Greece. Tracing the history of 17 November, Kassimeris demonstrates how it has persevered with a one-dimensional view of a world peopled by heroes and villains, that has precluded the emergence of a coherent ideology. Combining fanatical nationalism, contempt for the existing order, and the cult of violence for its own sake, 17 November has stubbornly refused to accept that its eclectic belief system is incompatible with modern democratic principles. Unlike Italy's Red Brigades or Germany's Red Army Faction, which both assailed "the capitalist state and its agents," 17 November hopes to create an insurrectionary mood that will propel the Greeks into revolutionary political action without disrupting society as a whole. As such, 17 November's terror campaign has been an audacious protest aimed at discrediting and humiliating the Greek establishment and the US government, but one that has never sought to develop widespread revolutionary guerrilla warfare.
Last Act in a Violent Drama? The Trial of Greece's Revolutionary Organization 17 NovemberBy strange coincidence, Greece's Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17 N) met its end almost exactly a year after Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorists felled New York's twin towers, when the group's leader of operations, Dimitris Koufodinas, turned himself in to the police after months on the run, on September 5, 2002. The capture of Koufodinas and his group marked the demise of the last and most stubborn of a generation of ideological terrorists whose campaigns caused serious political and security problems in Western Europe for more than a quarter of a century. Drawing on the judicial investigation findings and the courtroom testimonies of the terrorists, this article attempts to tell the stories of the four most senior group members in order to understand what led them to act in the way they did and, more crucially, what kept them inside a terrorist organization with no prospects and community support for so long. (Informaworld)
Urban Guerrilla or Revolutionary Fantasist? Dimitris Koufodinas and the Revolutionary Organisation 17 NovemberThe end of Greece's Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N) finally came on 5 September 2002 when the group's leader of operations, Dimitris Koufodinas, turned himself to the police. Unlike Alexandros Giotopoulos, the group's chief ideologue who denied any involvement in 17N, Koufodinas took responsibility for the entire 17N experience and sought to defend and justify their violent actions. Drawing on Koufodinas's court testimony this article suggests that the world of 17N was a closed, self-referential world where terrorism had become for the members a way of life from which they could not walk away. Defending the group's campaign from beginning to end, Koufodinas contended that 17N was an authentic revolutionary alternative to a barbaric, inhumane and vindictive capitalist order that was running amok. An emblematic personality of 17N terrorism, Dimitris Koufodinas embraced the view that Greece's “self-negating democracy” necessitated exactly the kind of political violence they had undertaken. (Ingenta)