As forensic experts of the police’s counterterrorism unit yesterday examined the remnants of two bombs that targeted Attica’s Korydallos Prison and Thessaloniki’s main court complex within 24 hours of each other, police sources said they believe members of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire to be behind both of the attacks.
Yesterday’s blast occurred shortly before 1.30 p.m. when a large bomb that had been planted in the basement men’s rest rooms at Thessaloniki’s main court complex detonated, injuring one court employee in the leg. An anonymous caller had phoned in a warning to the Eleftherotypia daily 20 minutes beforehand. According to sources, the caller had asked that the court complex be evacuated immediately, emphasizing several times that “this is not a hoax.” Police started ushering people out of the courtrooms but the bomb went off before everyone had left the premises. Televised images at the time of the bombing showed frightened citizens and policemen streaming out the entrance.
Police had not made any official statement regarding the suspected perpetrators behind the bombing by late yesterday but sources said they believed it – and Thursday night’s bombing outside Korydallos jail – had been the work of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire and had been intended to remind police that the urban guerrilla group is still active. Ten suspected members of the group have been arrested over the past year. Of these, three are still in custody.
According to sources, the modus operandi of the perpetrators behind the court complex bombing and the blast outside the prison resembles that of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, whose recent hits include bombings at the Athens headquarters of Ethniki Insurance, the Aliens Bureau on Petrou Ralli Street and the central Athens offices of Chryssi Avgi (Golden Dawn), a far-right organization.
The bomb used at the court complex is believed to have comprised 10 kilograms of high-impact explosives, according to police sources. The bomb used in the Korydallos hit was very powerful, with reverberations felt as far away as central Athens, but no details about its composition were revealed. It caused significant damage and minor injuries to the 22-year-old resident of an adjacent apartment block.
By late last night, there had been no claim of responsibility for either attack.