Olympic Games in the year 2004 in Athens? Why should a city which hosts terrorist training camps host an event which calls for peace and harmony?

The Washington Times, Tuesday, September 10, 1996

GREEK SPY AGENCY TIED TO TERROR GROUP ATHENS BACKED ANTI-TURKISH KURDS By Bill Gertz U.S. intelligence has uncovered evidence linking the Greek government to covert training for an international terrorist group that until recently operated on a Greek island, according to CIA sources. The Greek government, through its National Intelligence Service, took steps last month to curb its backing for the anti- Turkish Kurdistan Workers+ Party, a terrorist group known as the PKK, the sources disclosed to The Washington Times. The PKK is a Marxist- Leninist group that since that early 1970s has sought to set up a separate Kurdish State in Southeastern Turkey, an area predominantly inhabited by ethnic Kurds. The group also receives safe haven and aid from Syria, Iraq and Iran and has turned to urban terrorism in the past few years, according to the State Department . It has been credited with scores of bomb attacks in Europe and Turkey since the early 1990s, making it among the most active international terrorist groups, the department+s annual global terrorism report stated. The evidence of Greek complicity in sponsoring an international terrorist unit could lead to the unprecedented step of declaring a NATO ally a state sponsor of international terrorism, a policy that includes harsh U.S. economic sanctions, terrorism experts said. According to intelligence sources, the chief of Greece+s National Intelligence Service met in Athens last month with two PKK terrorist leaders. The Greek Spy chief informed the PKK officials they could no longer conduct training operations in Greece and the two officials agreed to relocate their training bases, sources said. one of the PKK officials is an aide to PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. who is based in Syria. A second official is a member of the National Liberation Front of Kurdistan, based in Germany. U.S. officials said Greek police and intelligence officials earlier this year took steps to shut down one PKK training camp on Euboea, a large island located northeast of Athens. The camp, closed in February, was used for weapons and explosives training, officials said. Greek authorities also raided a safe house near Athens in March that was used by PKK terrorists engaged in operations in Europe, the officials said. However, U.S. officials said it is not clear that the Athens government has ended all support for the PKK, including the practice of allowing PKK terrorists to transit freely through Greece. Theodossiss Demetracopouos, press secretary at the Greek Embassy, said in a statement, -The Greek government categorically denies that it has ever provided training or any other form of assistance to the PKK.- A State Department counterterrorism official had no comment on Greek support for the PKK, or whether Athens could be placed on the list of state sponsors of terrorism as a result. Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism operations official , said the PKK is one of the most violent terrorist groups operating in the world today. -The Greeks have taken the position that the enemy of my enemy is my friend,- Mr. Cannistraro said. -The fact of the matter is you have one NATO ally supporting terrorist operations against another NATO member.- Mr. Cannistraro said the new government of Greece under Prime Minister Costas Simitis appears to be taking steps to curtail PKK activities. In January, Mr. Simitis succeeded ailing socialist Andreas Papandreau, who died June 23. The order to halt PKK training activities in Greece was given less than two months after Mr. Simitis took over as chairman of the ruling socialist Pan Hellenic Socialist Movement , known as Pastok, and consolidated his political power. -There is no question that what the Greek government is doing with the PKK makes them supporters of international terrorism,- Mr. Cannistraro said. -If political considerations were put aside, they would qualify as state sponsors of terrorism on the State Department+s annual list.- The State Department terrorism report, issued in April, said Greece denied Turkish charges that the PKK conducted training in Greece denied Turksh charges that the PKK conducted training in Greece and received aid from the Athens government. ----- End Included Message -----