What do we know about the Conspiracy of the Fire Nuclei?

Greek authorities are blaming a shadowy far-left group called the "Conspiracy of the Fire Nuclei" for a series of attempted mail bombings against prominent European political leaders which has forced the country to shut down international mail service and have arrested two of its members.   But what do we actually know about the Conspiracy of the Fire Nuclei, or as they're sometimes less dorkily called, the Conspiracy of the Fire Cells?

Little is known about the Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, which first emerged in early 2008, six years after Greek police dismantled the country's notorious left-wing November 17 terror group. The Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei has been known for nonlethal bomb attacks around Athens despite the arrests of several of its members—most of them in their 20s—in the past two years. The group is seen as anti-authoritarian and the most recent targets may reflect their opposition to Greece's fiscal austerity program after a European Union sponsored €110 billion ($154 billion) bailout package this year.

Wikipedia has a run-down of their past targets, a somewhat random-seeming assortment including a former justice minister, several automobile dealerships, Agence France Presse, a neo-Nazi party, a Pakistani community leader, the Greek Parliament and the embassies of Mexico, Bulgaria, Chile, and Germany. They don't seem to have ever killed someone, thankfully.

On his website, former Athens-based Foreign Service Officer John Brady Kiesling has an interesting piece on the group in which he takes a stab and pinpointing their ideology:

Arrested SPF suspect Masouras produced (or parroted) SPF's early strand of Nietzschean pseudo-philosophy:

"We execute morality, prefacing catastrophe, whispering rabidly, biting the words: WAR ATTACK because only beauty and strength exist, but the cowards to balance [them] invented justice."  (Masouras's 10/09 letter to Indymedia

Recent SPF proclamations have been longer, less immature, and more revolutionary in content, suggesting a new sense of collective responsibility in response to the belief, fueled by the economic crisis, that Greece has entered or will soon enter a "revolutionary period." Both in tactics (symbolic bomb attacks on buildings) and rhetoric the group is slowly evolving to resemble Revolutionary Struggle (EA) or Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA), both of which were uneasy coalitions between communist theoreticians and anarchist/anti-authority bombers

I'm curious as to why 70s style leftist and anarchist militancy seems to have been preserved in Greece while it has mostly (though not entirely) away in most other European countries.

Also worth checking out, the website Anarchist News has compiled a most excellent list of names of Greek anarchist groups, including CFN. (I can't confirm that any of these are actually real.) My personal favorites:

  • Summer Entropy Commandos
  • Arsonists with dirty consciousness
  • Immediate Intervention Hood-wearers
  • Council for the de-structualization of Order
  • Destroyers of whatever is left of social peace
  • Nikola Tesla Commandos


Interview with a Dutch FARC fighter

Radio Netherlands has broadcast a rare interview with a 32-year-old Dutch woman named Tanja Nijmeijer, who is thought to be the only non-Latin militant in Colombia's FARC rebels. 

In a journal of Nijmeijer's, which was discovered in 2007, she complained about life as a guerillas and her words were used by the Colombian government to portray the movement as weakened and demoralized. But in the new interview, which took place in Augustm the rebel known as "Holanda" by her comrades appears healthy and defiant and rejects the notion that she is being held against her will: 

"If the army and government of Colombia still think or say I was kidnapped let them come here and rescue me. We will meet them with AK47s, bazookas, mines, mortars, everything."

Nijmeijer first came to Colombia as a university student to teach English in a rural school. She reportedly began training with the FARC in 2003. 

Since the interview took place, the camp where Nijmeijer was interviewed was overrun by Colombian government troops but the journalist who found her believes that she is still alive.