In the early hours of Sunday, January 23, an explosion took place outside an informal Muslim prayer place in Patissia (a central district of Athens). The improvised explosive device contained screws, nails and metal objects, meaning it was a construction designed to kill. This fact, combined with the choice of target, prove that this is an organized terrorist act with potential victims. It is an alarm signal for everyone.
The media did not showcase this piece of news, but its importance is great. We are dealing with a possible escalation of racist violence and a drastic upgrading of targets and methods. In this respect, the attack seems to copy the models of neo-Nazi organisations in other countries, particularly Germany, where the NSU has attacked Muslim places of worship and selected human targets on the basis of origin and/or religion (including Theodoros Voulgaridis, who was murdered in his shop). The long chain of victims of neo-Nazi violence in Germany and the serious allegations of a systematic cover-up by the police reinforce the significance of yesterday's incident. It is an alarm signal for all.
"Signal – Researching and Confronting the Far Right" points out, on the occasion of yesterday's attack, that racist violence and organized far-right terrorism must be tackled drastically. State institutions, civil society, political and social actors are now called upon to prove that the lessons of the past decade have been learned. Negligence, underestimation of risk and inaction have left time and space for the rise of Golden Dawn. Thus, the country experienced a tragedy until –with a long delay– the institutions reacted.
Yesterday's attack sends an alarm signal to all: we risk seeing terror and violence spreading again.