Encyclopedia > November 17 (terrorist group)

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November 17 (terrorist group)

November 17 (17N) is a radical, Marxist Greek terrorist group. It had perpetrated a series of attacks from the 1970s and until 2002 no member of the group had been identified or arrested. The group is named after the November 17, 1973 uprising by students at the Athens Polytechnic university against the military junta, in which twenty students were killed. Since the military junta was backed by the United States as part of that country's anti-Communist efforts, most of the group's attacks have been directed at American targets.

The group's first attack was in December 1975, when the CIA's Athens station chief was shot. The group have committed around twenty further assassinations, often using a .45 calibre handgun, and around fifty other actions. Intial attacks were aimed at American and Greek officials but the range of operations was expanded in the 1980s and 1990s to include bombings and EU targets.

Following a failed operation on June 29, 2002 the Greek authorities captured a injured suspect, Savvas Xiros. His interrogation led to the discovery of two safe houses and to the arrest of a further six suspects, including two brothers of Savvas. A 58 year old professor, Alexandros Giotopoulos, was identified as the group leader and was arrested on July 17 on the island of Lipsi.

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