Greek eco-terrorists claim to have started injecting hydrochloric acid, a highly corrosive substance, into supermarket foods and drinks. The anarchist group even posted photos of themselves injecting soda, milk, and meat with acid, on social media.
Several Greek supermarkets were forced to withdraw specific products from their shelves after the threats of contamination. Authorities urged citizens in Athens and Thessaloniki not to buy or consume Coca-Cola, a local milk brand, and packaged meat for fear of them being contaminated with the dangerous substance. The two cities have a combined total of about 1 million residents affected by these precautionary measures.
“I would categorize this as terror activity,” Mary Bossis, an associate professor of International Relations at the University of Piraeus and an expert on left-wing militancy, told VICE Munchies. “They are not political activists; they are criminals.”
The anarchists, who go by the name “Blackgreen Arsonists,” released a manifesto declaring:
“These days, thousands and thousands of Christians will leave their couch to make the necessary shopping for their Christmas tables, to fill their empty lives with consumable rubbish covered in beautiful, glittering wrapping. The victims of this feast are the millions of living creatures that are slaughtered to arrive at the tables of the living, drained to the last drop of blood to satisfy their palates.”
For some reason, the group even mentioned which specific items would be contaminated, citing practical reasons: 1.5-liter bottles of Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Light, a lunch meat called Yfantis (350- and 500-gram packages) and Delta whole milk. The group claims to have collected these items in the month leading up to Christmas, and proceeded to clandestinely return the products to shop shelves from December 20th to the 24th.
Hydrochloric acid is a colorless, odorless solution of hydrogen chloride in water used in research and industry. The acid is considered a toxic substance by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and it is highly corrosive, causing immediate damage when ingested, inducing severe throat pain, shock, bloody vomiting, and even death.
Similar threats have emerged several times in the past, including last Christmas, but no cases of hydrochloric acid poisoning were ever actually recorded. In this case, however, the group included photos as part of their online threat. Authorities currently have no information on the identities of the terrorists, and they do not appear to have a cohesive political message or aim.
“They only think within their own category of thinking.,” Bossis said. “It’s a group of people that believes […] they are hurting multinational corporations, which is not true. This terror activity […] alienates them and puts them in the category of criminals and not political activists. This targets predominately young people, as they are the main consumers of these products.”
So far, no cases of hydrochloric acid poisoning have been reported.