Country Report on Terrorism 2016 - Chapter 6 - Revolutionary Struggle

aka RS; Epanastatikos Aghonas; EA

Description: Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on May 18, 2009, Revolutionary Struggle (RS) is a radical leftist group with Marxist ideology that has conducted attacks against both Greek and U.S. targets in Greece. RS emerged in 2003 following the arrests of members of the Greek leftist groups 17 November and Revolutionary People’s Struggle.

Activities: RS first gained notoriety when it claimed responsibility for the September 5, 2003, bombings at the Athens Courthouse during the trials of 17 November members. From 2004 to 2006, RS carried out a number of improvised explosive device attacks, including a March 2004 attack outside of a Citibank office in Athens. RS claimed responsibility for the January 12, 2007, rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack on the U.S. Embassy in Athens, which damaged the building; and the March 2009 bombing of a Citibank branch in Athens. In September 2009, RS also claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on the Athens Stock Exchange, which caused widespread damage and injured a passerby.

The Greek government has made significant strides in curtailing RS’ terrorist activity. On April 10, 2010, Greek police arrested six suspected RS members, including purported leader Nikos Maziotis, who later escaped. In addition to the arrests, the Greek raid resulted in the seizure of a RPG launcher, possibly the one used against the U.S. Embassy in Athens in the 2007 attack. On April 3, 2013, five members of RS were convicted by an Athens appeals court, three of them receiving maximum prison sentences. Maziotis and another accused RS conspirator, Paula Roupa, were convicted in absentia. Prior to Maziotis’s recapture (following a gunfight with police on July 16, 2014), RS conducted a bomb attack outside a Bank of Greece office in Athens in April 2014; the blast caused extensive damage to surrounding structures but no casualties.

In March 2016, a Greek court sentenced Maziotis to life in prison plus 129 years and a fine of 20,000 Euros (US $21,750). Roupa was sentenced in absentia to 11 years in prison on misdemeanor charges; she will stand trial on felony charges upon capture. Greek authorities suspect she was involved in a September 2016 bank robbery in Malesina, Greece.

Strength: Unknown

Location/Area of Operation: Athens, Greece

Funding and External Aid: Unknown, but the group most likely supports itself through criminal activities, including bank robbery.