The Greek authorities announced this week the arrest of two Pakistani migrant land workers in Greece who were accused of planning a terrorist attack against a Jewish restaurant in central Athens, a restaurant which is serving also as a synagogue (sic). The supposed terrorists were receiving orders from a compatriot of them leaving in Iran, who, in his turn, received his orders from the Iranian “Guardians of the Revolution” and then transmitting them by SMS to Greece through a Dubai registered mobile phone. The story became known by announcements and links of the Greek authorities and leaks by them to the press. The information about those Pakistanis has come to the Greek authorities from the Israeli secret services.
Immediately, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli Foreign and Defense Ministers hailed the arrest of the two, the cooperation between Greek and Israeli services and the performance of Mossad. (1)
As for the Iranian embassy in Athens, it commented on the Greek and Israeli announcements by stating that “the embassy of the Republic of Iran strongly denies the rumors spread by Zionist sources and their baseless accusations against Iran. It is obvious that their fabricated scenarios are intended to divert the public’s attention from their internal crisis”.
Greece and Israel: Parallel “instabilities”
It is true that this whole affair erupted in the middle of a struggle for political survival of both the Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu. So let us open a parenthesis at this point to describe the general context in Eastern Mediterranean.
In May 21 Greece is holding a general election and Mitsotakis is facing a huge wave of anger and indignation about the train crash in Central Greece which killed dozens of young Greeks.
As for Netanyahu he is facing a revolt of a large part of the Israeli citizens, of his armed forces and of the Jewish diaspora, in particular the US Jewish diaspora, against his plans to control the Israeli judicial system.
His opponents accuse him of wishing to acquire dictatorial powers and transform Israel into a “totalitarian” state. Such a transformation could probably help him overcome resistance, from the Army and a large part of the Israeli society, to his plans to launch a war against Iran, preferably by using the US as a sort of proxy power, and also to his other lifelong dream of incorporating definitively the Palestinian territories to Israel.
As Seymour Hersh (again!) has warned us, already since 2006, such a war will imply the use of nuclear arms. Even a child (but probably not all politicians on our planet) understands that in the present international situation, such a war will have exponential consequences and will accelerate our already initiated descent into global Chaos, making more difficult to avoid a fatal “accident” in the historic course of Humanity. (2)
The “Pakistani terrorists” enter the equation
According to the Greek (pro-government in their crushing majority) mainstream media, which are getting their information from the Greek police and EYP (the Greek intelligence service), who, in their turn, got the bulk of their information from Israelis, the two Pakistanis were receiving orders through SMS from a compatriot of them living in Iran and taking his orders from the Iranian “Guardians of the Revolution”.
Those Pakistanis were exchanging openly – according to the publications – messages through their mobile phones, discussing explicitly their terrorist plans, exchanging photos of the targeted restaurant, wondering where they will find arms and negotiating the money they would get for every Jew killed (around 15.000 euros). They were also promised to get help to leave the country and open a restaurant in Teheran after their terrorist attack. According to the “sources” fueling the Greek media they were both fanatic, cruel and hungry for money (all in the same time). As the story was developing, some reports were adding gradually more details and supposed targets (like the Jewish Museum in Athens).
When the two Pakistani illegal land workers and supposed terrorists finally appeared to the Prosecutor we learned that they were not in contact with any lawyer and they did not know anyone, so the Prosecutor had to appoint one to defend them.
Questions without answer
In spite of the rapid rise of authoritarian methods, in Greece there are not only pro-government media and journalists. There are also some independent and critical journalists. They were quick to point out the obvious holes of the official narrative of the Greek authorities adopted also by the Israelis (3):
1. It is the first time in history a “terrorist network” is using SMS to openly describe and discuss through mobile telephones its projected terrorist attacks, with rather ridiculous exchanges of messages (see for. ex. https://www.iefimerida.gr/ellada/adistaktoi-oi-pakistanoi-tromokrates).
One can like or dislike the Iranian regime. But nobody in the world believes it is an unserious state. It is in war with Israeli, US and British secret services for decades. They don’t know in Iran that nearly everybody everywhere can be followed by use of his mobile phone and they use mobiles phones to explain in detail and openly their terrorist plans? They don’t know that this is true of Greece (where an enormous wiretapping scandal has been revealed since a year now and where it was revealed that the surveillance of all the Greek political elite, including ministers, friends of PM’s wife or the chief of the armed forces is done by the Israeli secret services?
2. How serious is a “terrorist network” composed of two poor migrant workers who did not possess arms or explosives to carry out terrorist actions and they don’t know one lawyer to defend them?
3. (Shiite) Iran has never resorted to such blind terrorist attacks against Jews during the past decades, like the ones supposedly planned by the two “terrorists” coming from the (Sunni) Pakistan, or to blind attacks against civilian targets like the ones perpetrated by Al-Qaeda or ISIS. Iran has collaborated with US intelligence after September 11th and has waged a protracted struggle against both organizations in the Middle East. It is very hostile towards Israel and Zionism, but not again Jews as a national – religious group. Why would they want to attack a Jewish restaurant, killing indiscriminately Jews and non – Jewish Greeks who would be probably its clients?
4. Netanyahu is always trying to realize his longtime dream of persuading the US to attack Iran, acting in alliance with the US hard right. Iran is trying to avoid such a scenario and it is normalizing its relations with Saudi Arabia. Would an Iranian designed terrorist attack in Athens, Greece, killing tens of Jews and/or Greeks, help Iranian policy?
5. If Iran wanted to attack Jewish targets around the world why would it choose targets in Greece? Both Greece and Cyprus have not been targets of terrorism originating in the Middle East for decades. One of the reasons was the deep friendship between the Greek people and the Arab and Muslim world. Greece and Iran had very close relations in the past. It is true that Greek and Cypriot governments have tried their best, over a decade at least, to destroy relations with this region of the world and bring their countries to an Israeli sphere of influence. But, for the time being, the deep historical ties resist.
Under these conditions and with what has been known up to now, the idea of an Iranian terrorist network must be dismissed, because it defies logic. Two possibilities remain essentially:
a) We have to do with two deranged fanatic Pakistanis.
b) We have to do with two poor migrants who were framed by secret services.
Time will show.
(1) Nobody has doubts about the intensity of the cooperation between Israeli and Greek services, especially after the revelation that they were cooperating in surveilling everybody in Greece. Both Greece and Cyprus became also, in the last years, two of the main centers of export of the malicious spywares Pegasus and Predator, according to revelations by NYT, Haaretz and the Greek press.
As for the degree of influence Israel (and in particular Netanyahu’s wing) has acquired in Greece (and Cyprus) – speaking about the elite of the country, not the people – during the last 10 to 15 years, it became clear by the fact nobody, from the far left to the far right, has accused Israel for the enormous surveillance scandal which rocked the country for one year. Only a few journalists have referred to it.
The influence of out of the region forces has always been the decisive factor shaping, to a large degree, relations between Greece and Türkiye and also the perceptions of the one about the other. For example, some years ago, Greek services, the army and the public opinion were afraid of Turkey being ready to attack Greece, because of information acquired via foreign services. The whole story collapsed when one commentator proved that Turkish military units, necessary for such an attack, had already moved from their positions and were battling in Afrin, Syria.
(2) Benjamin Netanyahu, a very astute, competent and ambitious Israeli politician (“he could give lessons to Machiavelli” has written of him a commentator) is not just a “local” leader. He is also one of the leading figures of one of the two tendencies competing for domination inside the leading nucleus of the West, the “nationalist” proponents of a “war of Civilizations” (with Huntington as their spokesman) on the one hand, the (neo)liberal “globalizers” on the other (of the Fukuyama type). Their difference does not have so much to do with the aim (the domination on the planet) but with the methods and ideologies to attain this goal.
This is why there cannot be a bigger strategic mistake than to believe you can be based on the first group to attack the second. In reality one of the goals of the first group is to transform radically the (still existing) democratic ideology of western societies, probably leading to fascism, because such a transformation makes much easier the launching of a world war.
Netanyahu was one of the architects of the Middle Eastern wars, having financed the first Neocon group which prepared them. According to a recent Nation article Israeli services were a basic force behind Trump’s rise to power and then the American President moved, in exchange, to address nearly all Israeli demands as no other US President did in history (Jerusalem, Golan, repudiation of the Iranian nuclear agreement etc.). He also bombed Syria twice, in spite of the presence there of Russian armed forces, something the previous Obama administration had refused to do in spite of the pressure it received from the Congress.
Both Netanyahu and Trump claimed they were friends of Russia, but this has not been an obstacle to the arming of the neo-Nazi Azov militia by Israel under Netanyahu and the downing of a Russian aircraft in the Syrian air space, or to the no application of the Minsk agreements and the massive arming of Ukraine, in anticipation of the present conflict, under Trump’s administration.
3. Some examples of Greek publications putting in doubt the official narrative of “Pakistani terrorism” you can find here:
Πολλά αναπάντητα ερωτήματα για τους τρομοκράτες, https://slpress.gr/ethnika/ti-symvainei-me-tin-feromeni-tromokratiki-epithesi-stoy-psyrri/, https://slpress.gr/en-thermo/kayta-erotimata-gia-tin-ypothesi-tromokratias-stoy-psyrri/, https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/astynomiko/383758_tromokrates-apo-ta-elaiohorafa-me-odigies-apo-tin-teherani, Τα ερωτήματα για τις ανακοινώσεις «αποτροπής τρομοκρατικού χτυπήματος» στην Αθήνα – Militaire.gr.