Golden Dawn’s secret army
“At Golden Dawn we have a full military structure with at least 3,000 people ready for everything! We have about 50 phalanxes for street fights and about as many 6-man commando strike forces for organized attacks, under the guidance of three organization members. The strike forces handles special attacks against immigrants or reprisals against enemies of the organization. Whatever that might mean. Our training extends beyond what the people already know, such as the camps etc. We receive special training even with weapons in the areas of Rafina, Parnitha, Fyli, Porto Germeno, Mani, Central Evia and elsewhere. Our instructors are military officers from the Special Forces who support our structures. Our main concern is to meticulously conceal certain weapons in hooligan clubs or apartments so that they cannot be traced that easily by the Police or be associated with us. The local group in Nikea implicated in the case in Amfiali had at least four phalanxes with about 250 people and for the past few months is perhaps the most active group in Attica. They guarded the party offices on Diligiannis Street a few months agon after clashes with riot police, following an attempt to give food in Syntagma. Along with the Athens organization they had the general command at the recent events in Meligalas and elsewhere…” This is what one of the most senior Golden Dawn members reported to To Vima who has been following the group’s action over the past years and is aware of the behind-the-scenes choices. The references of this member, who was even involved in Golden Dawn’s predecessor, reveal Golden Dawn’s “paramilitary” nature, unknown aspects of its activities and characteristic internal “problems” of the rightwing gang, a few days after the cold-blooded murder of the 34-year-old Pavlos Fyssas in Keratsini. On the other hand, Hellenic Police officer whom To Vima contacted noted that “they have an informal update on Golden Dawn’s secret operation, but have not managed to locate training grounds or to establish the participation of members in this paramilitary activity…”
The man who reveals the secretes of the far-right party reports that “Golden Dawn has an organization that most people are unaware of and refers to that of the Nazis, but mostly to the National Youth Organization (EON) that Metaxas established 1936. Golden Dawn, just like EON, has phalanx leaders, captains, leaders and all that. We are especially focused on military-type training for the organization’s members, starting from boxing, swimming and climbing and results in training with all types of weapons. What you hear about beatings, submission and patience games of the organization’s followers is what is going on in special military units. Such training occasionally takes place in forests in Attica and other areas in the country, mostly under full secrecy and special care so that the police is not aware. Former and currently active members of the commandos and other Special Forces units are used as trainers. However many of those who form the Golden Dawn phalanxes derive from the Army’s Special Forces”.
The most basic units in Golden Dawn’s “army” are the “strike forces” that, according to reports, receive “central commands”.
The same Golden Dawn member reports that “these groups can strike like militant urban groups, maintaining rules of conspiracy, with the primary interest being to erase their traces and arrange their escape. The strike forces are used in special cases, such as reprisals against immigrants who have committed a crime against a Greek, or in case of traitorous Golden Dawn supporters. Many of these 31 attacks that are attributed to Golden Dawn members, as well as many you probably don’t know about, were mostly committed by these “strike forces”. They act in such a way so that nothing can be established about anyone. They might also undertake other missions to punish the party’s enemies or to solve internal matters”.
“Nikea was our pride”
The same man refers to the action of some of Golden Dawn’s local groups.
“The organization in Nikea was our pride in the past years, along with the one in Athens. The success is mostly down to the supervision and control of MP Yannis Lagos. They had the first say in Golden Dawn’s recent activities in the Athens city center and the suburbs. The attack against the KKE supporters in Perama ten days ago came from over there. The group in Ano Liosia used to play an important part, but one of their leaders was injured by Gypsies. They are still looking for them…”.
What is especially interesting is what the former Golden Dawn member reveals about the relations of organization members with the underworld. As he notes “in the central offices we are informed that many members of local Golden Dawn groups take advantage of their training and become blackmailers who bully shopkeepers. The party’s leadership does not want that, because it could have unpredictable consequences and all of sudden it could find itself exposed. Recently a local group in the southern suburbs of Athens was disbanded because it transpired that almost all of the members were involved in local blackmailing. Similar matters came up with three groups in Peloponnesus and are currently in limbo. Another group in Peloponnesus changed right away when its members began demonstrating separatist tendencies and began demanding autonomous elections…”.
To Vima contacted the relevant Police officers who in turn reported that “we have information from various sources about the conversion of the far-right party into a paramilitary organization. We have not yet established anything. We have associated Golden Dawn members with 31 attacks and illegal activities and have indications that they are behind dozens of others. Even the relevant Racist Violence Department in Attica has compiled another 31 attacks against illegal immigrants. They are unable provide any proof or support any allegations of criminal liability. A few months ago a high-ranking member of the local group in Nikea was arrested because he was called out by a Greek to attack Albanians. In the end he was only charged for resisting arrest! Even in the case of the attacks against the KKE members in Perama four citizens were prosecuted without having established any ties with Golden Dawn. Initially we had an Albanian as a suspect, who we later discovered was a prisoner in Korydallos. I estimate that a lot will change with Counterterrorism Unit’s investigation for the felony of participating in a criminal gang and the overall reinvestigation of all of the attacks. That way the privacy of communication protection can be lifted in the case of high ranking Golden Dawn members on central and local level or other technical methods can be used to determine the conspiratory and concealed movements of the attack organizers”.
Vasilis G. Lampropoulos
– originally published in Sunday print edition