Albanian arms dealers, Greek criminals tied to terror cache

Albanian arms dealers and members of the Greek criminal underworld were behind an attempt to provide would-be terrorists with an extensive arms cache that police seized over the weekend, Kathimerini understands.

Ballistics tests on the weapons found in a parked car in the southerns Athens neighborhood of Palaio Faliro on Saturday showed that none of the weapons in the cache – which included rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), a launcher and three Kalashnikov assault rifles – has been used in previous terrorist attacks. However, the launcher is the same type as one found in a safe house linked to the Revolutionary Struggle guerrilla group, police said. The leader of Revolutionary Struggle, Nikos Maziotis, has been at large since July 2012 when he was freed after completing the maximum of 18 months in pretrial custody.

Police sources told Kathimerini that at least three weapons exchanges between Albanian arms dealers and members of anti-establishment groups have taken place over the past year-and-a-half. In all cases, the sale was carried out on the orders of a criminal who has regular contact with members of terrorist groups, jailed and free.

A senior police source told Kathimerini he was certain that the would-be recipients of the arms in the stolen Opel were members of a terrorist organization but said he was unsure whether the deal between the two sides fell through at the last moment for reasons that remained unclear.