Greek Extremist Group Claims Responsibility for Attack on U.S. Embassy in Athens

A militant far-left group, Revolutionary Struggle, has issued a statement claiming responsibility for a rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Athens on Jan. 12, a Greek newspaper said Wednesday.

Dimitris Benekos, publisher of the weekly Pontiki, said his newspaper received the statement, which would be published on Thursday and was being examined by police. There were no injuries in the attack, which caused minor damage.

"The statement was signed by Revolutionary Struggle," Benekos said.

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"It is a five-page statement which explains why it chose the embassy as a target, linking (the attack) with U.S. foreign policy in various parts of the world — Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Palestine and so on," he told The Associated Press.

Benekos said the statement also referred to the names of two government ministers and senior judges, in an apparent warning of future attacks.

Revolutionary Struggle, which first appeared three years ago, has claimed responsibility for a failed bomb attack on Greek Culture Minister George Voulgarakis. Nobody was injured in the May 2006 blast.

The group also bombed a U.S. bank, a police station and two government ministries, including a 2005 blast in Athens' main Syntagma Square.

Revolutionary Struggle has sent four statements in the past to Pontiki to claim responsibility for attacks.

"The method in which the statement was delivered and the appearance of the statement itself are similar to the previous cases," Benekos said.

In the Jan. 12 attack, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at the embassy building and damaged a third-floor bathroom, narrowly missing the embassy seal.

The embassy attack alarmed the authorities, who fear a possible resurgence of Greek militant groups that carried out assassinations and bombings over three decades, before a security crackdown ahead of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

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