The Guardian reports that the prominent Greek reporter and blogger Socratis Giolas was allegedly murdered by the Sect of Revolutionaries terror group, after being shot 16 times in front of his pregnant wife. "The 37-year-old radio chief is the first journalist to be killed in the country since newspaper publisher Nikos Monferatos was gunned down by the infamous 17 November terror group in 1985. Giolas, who was also a frequent blogger, posting reports on popular online newsblog Troktiko, sought to illuminate Greece's seamier underside. The shooting came days before he was due to release an investigative series on corruption, colleagues said." It is always unfortunate when the investigative media loses inquisitive and intelligent minds, either outright violently (Giolas) or otherwise (Mark Pittman). Yet for every voice silenced, ten new ones appear. And even recent attempts in the US for a wholesale quieting of wide swath of the blogosphere will likely succeed in nothing more than merely roiling the hornets' nest of discontent. Luckily, no violent interventions have occurred in America (to date) - with the establishment fully aware it can simply throw a few dollars bills at and "capture" the better journalists out there, in exchange for 30 pieces of silver and "guaranteed" book sales, there is no need for bloodied hands. However, if this lack of inquiry results in merely more and more dirt being buried under the surface, when someone finally does hit the paydirt, the unfortunate events from Greece may be transplanted to a newsroom much closer to home.
More from the Guardian:
Forensic tests on bullet casings found at the scene matched them to two 9mm pistols used in previous assaults on policemen and a television channel by a domestic terror gang called the Sect of Revolutionaries.
The group, one of three operating guerilla networks whose members have never been caught, surfaced in December 2008 when Greece descended into violence following the police shooting of a teenage boy.
Since then, the country's political climate has become increasingly febrile, as far-left groups protesting against global capitalism and local corruption have staged attacks against police, public buildings and banks.
Last year, after targeting the Athens premises of the Alter TV station, the Sect of Revolutionaries vowed to step up attacks on well-known journalists and media outlets, accusing both of helping corrupt business interests mislead public opinion.Security experts have described the group as "among the most nihilistic and dangerous" to emerge in Greece since counter-terrorism authorities thought they had eradicated the problem with the capture of the infamous 17 November in 2001.
The assassination comes less than a month after unknown terrorists attempted to kill Michalis Chrysohoidis, the minister in charge of police, by sending a parcel bomb to his office in the centre of Athens. Wrapped up as a gift, the explosive device detonated in the hands of the politician's security chief, killing him. An unnamed group later claimed the bomb was aimed at Chrysohoidis, who successfully rooted out 17 November nearly three decades after the organisation hit headlines with the murder of the CIA bureau chief in Athens Richard Welch.
Giolas was no newcomer to death threats, his lawyer said. "He had been getting them from different people for the last 15 years," said Giorgos Marangakis. "It is very likely that he had a good amount of information that will at least lead [authorities] in the right direction [of those behind the attack]." Many Greeks wrote to the Troktiko blog to express their shock, with one describing the attack as a "political murder" the likes of which had not been seen in Greece for years.
Our condolences to his wife and unborn child.