We think its appropriate to publicize some information surrounding our surveillance and our subsequent arrest by the anti-terrorist cops on 30.04.2013 in Nea Filadelphia. Most information is “official” taken from the indictment against us. Through this we were led to some conclusions concerning mostly the knowledge of the cops on the way we were “moving” outside rather than the methods surrounding our direct surveillance. We also add a few words on some more knowledge of the cops we “discovered”, but also a few words on their tactics. The delay is because of the hesitation existing and based on the evaluation that publicizing this information could further help the future job of the cops. We weighed it however and concluded that it is more important, even if delayed a few months, to share this information/knowledge because it is more consciously “correct” for us that the interested comrades know the polices’ minimal level of knowledge, instead of there being suspicion of ignorance.
To many this information may sound obvious, but we are convinced that it will not sound the same to everyone. We obviously cannot make counter-proposals here, only warnings. In no way are we trying to scare anyone with the wideness of knowledge and the dynamic of the enemy, but to say to those who are “researching” what to be aware of in the streets in order to fulfil their raging desires. The “shadow” which many times covers the methods and movements of the anti-terrorist force leads people to over evaluate them, when its true that beyond some things that are made known to us every now and then, many other parts remain in the dark.
The cops themselves almost never reveal their methods. On the other hand, although we have to take our measures against them, a risk at an individual or group level will always remain in a subjective field. No matter what however mistakes are made and will continue to be made in the battle against such strong oppressive mechanisms. Mistakes that will always “cost” more compared to the cops’ mistakes which are “absorbed”. The situations must be weighed again and the mistakes which happened once, simply, should not happen again. The accumulated experience of so many years must be studied and appreciated and because there is the tendency to prepare for the battles which already took place and not for those that will come, lets be prepared and may luck be on our sides…
Beginning, let us say that our surveillance began at 11.20am with the locating of Grigoris (Sarafoudis) and ended at 16.00pm with our arrest in Nea Filadelfia. We have reasons to believe that our surveillance began at that specific time. Because just before that the comrade went into internet-cafe Palladium on 48 Solomou street at the border of the Exarchia area with the centre of Athens. We basically believe that this specific cafe was/is under surveillance, since we were informed other comrades in the past have been followed by plain-clothed cops when leaving this internet-cafe. Another main reason which more or less defines the time is the fact that earlier that morning the comrade made a counter-surveillance “check” and made sure his movements weren’t being followed.
A usual check we made very often and always before any meeting with wanted or unknown -to the police- comrades, in order to make sure we are “clean”. In other words, we think possible that the “bad moment” came when a “clean” person entered a “dirty” place and since he was already known to the anti-terrorist force from older surveillance, he was recognized and set under discreet surveillance. The meeting however a few hours later with two wanted comrades Argiris (Dalios) and Fivos (Harisis) sounded an alarm at the anti-terrorist force and an order for arrests was made immediately. The cops as usual, in order to justify the surveillance, also mention in the indictment, an “anonymous phone call” towards their service which said that Grigoris and other comrades in the same case had weapons, participated in the robbery in Velvedo and often visited the area of Exarchia. In this way, they even tried to disengage the cooperating internet-cafe in order for it not to be targeted, and thus they wrote in the indictment that they located Grigoris by accident on the crossroad of Patision and Solomou street, which is 30metres down the road! Although we know that this ridiculous story with the anonymous phone call is not true, we do not exclude the possibility that Grigoris, for some reason, might have already been a suspect and that he became a target of the anti-terrorist force like that. The story, more or less, after Grigoris’ visit to the “dirty” internet-cafe, continues when a while later at another part of town he met the, also “checked out”, comrade Giannis (Naxakis).
The two comrades then moved around different areas, to end up some time later in Nea Filadelphia at the meeting spot with the other comrades, where the story ends a while later with the raiding of the anti-terrorist force. During those few hours however, the comrades under surveillance made some moves that from a legal point of view might be indifferent, however, they were able to “betray” some conspiratorial characteristics about how we moved around.
So, here goes:
1. After about four hours of surveillance they saw us going into four different internet-cafe’s. The first was the ‘Paladium’ where Grigoris went. The next was on Paitsion 382 near the Ano Patissia train station, across the “everest” shop where Grigoris and Giannis met up. The two of them later went to ‘Gnet’ in Marousi (Tsaldari and Aristidou street), while the last one was ‘Bits&Bites’ in Nea Filadelphia (Dekelias 138) where they met Argiris and Fivos. With these facts the cops have reason to believe that we used the internet to communicate with each other. They definitely knew we “downloaded” and used the Tor Browser Bundle software (an extensive text will follow about the functioning and security of Tor software) a program for safe surfing which mixes up the I.P. Numbers of the world wide web of users, this way making surfing more “free”, since the I.P. number (which is the element that betrays the geographical position of the user) appears to be another one from a different, random place on the planet. Even with this fact however, the greek police hackers do not have the ability to “decrypt” our course on Tor because it is not a matter of coding but a matter of untangling a large bundle of IP numbers.
And finding the end of the line is an extremely time-consuming and complicated procedure which in our case must be done backwards. Generally, with Tor we felt safe until we found out that recently (August 6th) hackers of the FBI “cracked” many Tor pages for the first time, managing to trap and arrest a large global network of paedophiles, something which created some small concerns concerning its seals. A mistake we made is definitely that we “downloaded” Tor on the pc of the internet cafe where we were, instead of having it stored in a flash drive on us, something which besides the fact that it can be shown on the central p.c. of the shop, theoretically it is possible to immediately warn the cops, through a program, if they have an agreement with the shop. Concerning internet cafes, bad news has been transferred to us that since then, people were followed by plain-clothed cops while leaving various internet cafes in Athens (Exarchia, Monastiraki, Neos Kosmos, Kallithea) something that tells us that most shops in Athens will be under surveillance. Lets not forget that the abilities of the cops are enough if we consider that only the DAEEB (anti-terrorist force) has 600 employees, as stated inside a court room by they themselves when they were asked.
2. They saw us on Sygrou grove in Kifissia. The two of us (Grigoris-Giannis) before heading towards Nea Filadelfia we made a stop in the grove, walked up to the football pitches, sat on a bench right next to the pitches and talked for a long time.
Note that all these hours they followed us, although we were checked and theoretically believed that we were clean, in the few reflex looks we took behind us, out of habit, we did not observe anything especially worrying, while we moved with many different means of transport (train, bus, taxi).
Additional things we learned and figured out since the day of our arrest concerning how cops work.
They really surprised us when 80metres down the road from the cafe in Nea Filadelfia while two of us (Grigoris-Giannis) were walking away, DIAS cops signalled us to stop for a search. If we were expecting something planned this for sure was not the DIAS on a central crossroad of the area, but another kind of “rushing”. After the signal, and after they approached us on foot, we saw, seconds later, the appearance of more forces surrounding us until we were trapped, something that told us that even if we were armed we would had have very few possibilities of getting away. On the other hand, as its already known, in the cafe where the operation was carried out a few minutes later, their tactic with the DIAS as bait did not have the results they wanted since one person got away.
Also, something we were not all sure of, which now we are, is the ability of the cops in any police station in the country to immediately identify the info of a fake id card with the real holder through a photograph. Giannis, who was initially taken to Nea Filadelfia police station, was in a position to see the cops type the info from his fake id card into their computer and see the photo of the face of the real holder appear on the screen.
It is important to stand on one basic difference of tactics of the antiterrorist force in the case of our arrests, in relation to past operations of the same force against armed groups (CCF, RS, arrests in Pireus, Nea Smirni, arrests in Vironas – Tavros). In all these older cases the tactic of the cops was this: having analysed beforehand the profile and interactions of the wanted comrades with other “legal” ones, they placed the latter under surveillance which then led them to the illegals. Obviously, the anti-terrorist force does not carry out “one dimensional” investigations, neither would they remain at that, schematically however and through the accumulated experience of the last three years we observe that despite the occasional differences, the core of the investigation and its successes are within the above “simple” model.
In the previous cases therefore, when the DAEEB “discovered” the wanted comrades it never attempted to arrest them on the spot, contrary it put them under surveillance many days firstly aiming at finding the “safe houses” and the weapons of the comrades and secondly their contact circles. The examples are characteristic: in the case of the comrades arrested in N.Smirni-Pireus the surveillance, according to the official documents of the indictment, lasted 17 days. Accordingly, the anti-terrorist force followed the houses of the Thessaloniki comrades in Vironas – Tavros as well as the house in Volos where the members of the r.o. CCF lived.. on the contrary in our case the anti-terrorist force chose to arrest us immediately and not follow us, for two reasons. The first reason and most important, was that in the past many comrades (among them some of us) have gotten away from anti-terrorist operations because of counter-surveillance methods they applied. The cops either lost them or, in order to not expose the whole operation, let them go. The second reason is that because of the modern methods of oppression (see DNA) the cops are more sure than in the past that we will be imprisoned and sentenced even without “safe houses”, “weapons” etc.
Concluding, the conclusion we gather is that the enemy quickly adjusts to the conditions and evolves constantly, but many times the enemy itself basically creates the conditions in which it will have the initiative of actions. From our side it is not enough to remain in the tested and successful recipes of the past but to always look ahead, be what they call one step ahead of them. By waiting for the worst we cannot but always become better. Through this text, we seek the evolution of action through the sharing of this experience. We believe that such communication is necessary, even if its in this way (the immediate contact between those interested is impossible as well as dangerous) and generally that it is essential that those persecuted and imprisoned should put out such information. Things that the enemy knows should not remain a secret within our circles, since they “orientate” to what they know and can be useful to us. There is of course the case that some information remains secret based on strategy, a plan, a new surprise attack in the face of the enemy.