From Criminals To Terrorists And Back? Quarterly Report: Greece, vol. 2


Greece is one of the highest-ranking countries in the EU in terms of terrorist arrests and attacks in the past five years. Despite the large number of arrests accompanied by an average of a 17-year prison sentence, terrorism in Greece has not been deterred. However, unlike the trend of Jihadi terrorism spreading in the EU, Greece has been succumbed to left-wing and anarchist terrorist groups.

Greek anarchist groups appear to be the gateway group to terrorism. These groups predominantly thrive in Hellenic Universities and in the Exarcheia area of Athens. The most prominent terrorist group is Rubicon, which is the first Hellenic radical group to be actively involved in the Syrian war.

These terrorist groups often are a family affair. One-third of the arrestees in our database have relatives incarcerated for terrorism or terrorism-related offences. The women involved in these terrorist groups, who are the minority, usually have a family connection to the given terrorist organization. Despite the low number of women in these groups, they generally play a very active role, such as participating in armed robberies and publishing novels regarding anarchy being connected to sainthood.

The main focal point of these terrorist groups is the national issue of migration. The agenda of these anarchist extremists is for the complete dissolution of country borders. Fueling this agenda is the fact that close to 7000 people are crossing Greece’s borders daily, which is accompanied by the possibility that a number of Islamic terrorists and organised crime networks have benefited from the situation to cross to Schengen controlled areas

A crime-terror nexus has been identified with 71% of individuals in the database having a criminal record of a prior arrest. These connections were almost exclusively formed in Korydallos Prison, while the individuals were incarcerated and awaiting trial. Thus, prisons play a role in the radicalisation of individuals which has left Greece in 2017 raking 10th in Europe in terrorist arrests and 5th in Europe in terms of larger-scale terrorist attacks.

To find out more, please read the full report written by Eleni Fotou, Forensic Psychologist, PhD Candidate at the Democritus University of Thrace.