In Greece, 17 November is more than a date on the calendar. Revolutionary Organization 17 November — to use its full name — is an elusive terror organization, responsible for numerous political killings. Operating without much challenge from the Greek police, 17 November works on a crowded stage, with about 80 other terror groups. Many of them target U.S. nationals or property in Greece, reflecting a hostility that dates back to American support for the country's military junta of 1967-74.In May 1967, the month after the generals took power in the land of her ancestors, Anthee Carassava, Time's Athens correspondent, was born in Montreal. Growing up in New York, Carassava — who wrote this week's report on Greece's failure to halt the anti-U.S. attacks — heard bedtime stories from the Greek classics. They made a big impression on her. She began asking probing questions on weighty matters from the age of seven, when she wrote a letter to Henry Kissinger, then U.S. Secretary of State. "I don't remember what I scribbled," she says, "but it prompted Dr. Kissinger to send me a handwritten, elementary explanation of America's policy on Cyprus." Years later, while studying medicine at Athens University, Carassava caught a whiff of Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost, and found it "more stimulating than the smell of formaldehyde." She quit medical school to study political science at Union College in New York state and at Harvard. Back in Greece in 1989, she turned to journalism, drawn by the rumblings in the Balkans. "Greece proved an ideal base," she notes, "and United Press International, Reuters, the Associated Press and cnn the ideal springboards." Carassava joined Time in 1995 and has reported on subjects as diverse as the Kosovo conflict, the Cyprus stalemate, ancient Greek cuisine and marine archaeology.
This week's story isn't Carassava's first foray into the subject of terrorism. Two years ago, she reported on Greece's links with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (P.K.K.). "Officials here get twitchy if you touch on the issue of terrorism," she says. "The first time I did so, I was called a cia-cum-Israeli-cum-Turkish spy. Needless to say, I felt vindicated a year later when Greece was caught harboring the p.k.k. leader, Abdullah Ocalan." We at Time felt equally vindicated in our confidence in Carassava's professionalism and we will be relying on her for future hard-hitting stories that get behind the news.
, Editor, TIME Atlantic