Bomb at Greek embassy in Rome linked to anarchist attack


ROME – A parcel bomb found at the Greek embassy in Rome on Monday was similar to packages that went off injuring two people at the Chilean and Swiss missions in a suspected attack by anarchists, police said.
The package was “similar to those that exploded last week in the Chilean and Swiss embassies,” Salvatore Cagnazzo, a police spokesman, told AFP.
“The mail worker at the embassy opened it but it didn’t go off,” he said, adding that the package was then de-activated by bomb disposal experts.
The explosive device was contained in a large padded yellow envelope with a CD case inside and was intended to detonate when opened.
“There’s an anarchist group, a terrorist group that wants to send a signal on an international level and unfortunately it has chosen our city to do so,” the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, told reporters.
Greece’s ambassador to Italy, Michael Cambanis, was quoted by La Repubblica daily on its website as saying that the parcel bomb had “arrived on Friday but no-one opened it because of the Christmas holidays.” Last Thursday two parcel bombs exploded at the Chilean and Swiss embassies here, injuring a Swiss mail worker and a Chilean diplomat.
Prosecutors on Monday said that their inquiry for suspected “terrorism” over last week’s bombs would now include the Greek embassy package.
Last week’s blasts were claimed by an Italian anarchist group calling itself the Informal Federation of Anarchy, or FAI under its Italian acronym.
Investigators have said they believe the claim is “reliable”. “We have decided to make our voice heard with words and deeds. Let us destroy the system of domination… Long live anarchy,” read a charred note found at the scene of the Chilean embassy blast. The statement was signed by the “Lambros Fountas Cell” — a reference to a Greek far-left activist killed in a shoot-out with police in March 2010.
Italian investigators drew parallels between the attacks and a suspected anarchist far-left plot in Greece last month in which bombs were sent to foreign embassies in Athens and European government leaders.
More than a dozen packages containing explosives were sent in that plot, prompting Greece to suspend international mail for two days. At least four of the packages ignited or exploded, slightly injuring one person.
A Greek police spokesman, Thanassis Kokkalakis, told AFP earlier there was no sign of involvement by Greek extremists but said the reference to the slain Greek militant showed a “measure of solidarity” between groups.
The head of Italian police, Antonio Manganelli, on Monday also said there was no apparent link between the attacks in Greece and the ones in Rome.
“So far no elements of material links between the wave of parcel bombs in Greece last month and the recent action in our country,” Manganelli was quoted by ANSA news agency as saying.
He added: “Contacts and synergy of intent between anarcho-insurrectionalists in the two countries are however a constant object of joint investigation by Greek and Italian police.” The FAI has claimed around 30 low-key attacks in Italy in recent years, starting with two small bombs set off in a rubbish bin outside the home in Bologna of then European Commission chief Romano Prodi in 2003.
The targets have been mainly police, prison authorities, immigrant detention centres and European Union institutions. Last week’s bombs are believed to be the first attack claimed by the FAI to have injured someone. But Antimo Farro, a professor of sociology at La Sapienza University in Rome, said: “Nothing proves that this is exactly part of the same series.
“These are by definition autonomous groups with a highly individualistic, insurrectionalist ideology and they do not have a strong organisation or coordination between them,” he told AFP.