- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 24, 2002

Greek Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoides, widely praised for dismantling the 27-year-old terrorist group November 17, joined top U.S. officials this week to plan the "highest security possible" for the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
"America, together with our European allies, Australia and Israel, has offered top officials to help us with security preparations for the Games," Mr. Chrysohoides told reporters Tuesday.
He said expertise will be welcome in such areas as chemical and biological weapons. There are already plans for the training of about 50,000 Greek policemen.
Asked what an American invasion of Iraq, with all its uncertainties for the Middle East, would do to Greece's Olympics security blueprint, the minister replied: "We must predict and prepare whatever effort against every danger which can be predicted, including possible upheaval in the Middle East."
Planning for hosting the Olympics in the land where the Games originated in ancient times began more than a decade ago, when first Athens sought an invitation, only to be passed over for Atlanta in 1996.
In his three-day stay in the United States, Mr. Chrysohoides met with CIA Director George J. Tenet; Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge; Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage; the State Department's counterterrorism chief, Francis Taylor; and White House Assistant National Security Advisor Gen. John Gordon and Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson.
Earlier this year, Greece crushed the terrorist November 17 movement, which was formed in 1974 to battle the military dictatorship that had taken over the cradle of democracy seven years earlier.
"Whatever sympathy the Greek public may have had for November 17 dwindled over the years and vanished," Mr. Chrysohoides said.
He said the terrorists, who had assassinated a number of foreign officials, "lived by myths" and "behaved like gangsters."
The downfall of November 17 began June 29 with a slip-up. A bomb toted by one of the terrorists went off unintentionally in the port of Piraeus. November 17 quickly unraveled after that.
As a result, 17 reputed members of the organization are now in jail.
The terrorists' epitaph was delivered last month by Prime Minister Costas Simitis that the group had been dismantled with the arraignment of its suspected leader, Alexander Giotopoulos, an ultra-left Greek revolutionary who grew up in Paris.
In its years as a helter-skelter assassination squad, November 17 claimed 22 victims, including CIA station chief Richard Welch in December 1975.

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