Jailed terrorist was preparing bomb, police say

Nikos Maziotis, the leader of the Revolutionary Struggle urban guerrilla group who was arrested earlier this year, was planning another bomb attack when officers seized him after shots were fired in the busy Monastiraki area of Athens, police sources have told Kathimerini.

Based on the evidence gathered so far, police believe that Maziotis had traveled to central Athens on July 16 to buy a 9- or 12-volt camping battery pack to use in the construction of a bomb similar to the one that went off outside the offices of the Bank of Greece on April 10. Revolutionary Struggle had used such batteries in all of its previous bomb attacks, police said.

Maziotis had bought battery components from a camping store near Monastiraki Square shortly before his arrest, sources added.

Two people were slightly injured in the Bank of Greece bombing, which caused widespread damage to the central bank’s offices and surrounding buildings. It is suspected the device contained around 70 kilos of explosives.

Police believe that 35-year-old Giorgos Petrakakos assisted Maziotis with the bombing. He is suspected of driving the motorcycle on which Maziotis allegedly escaped on April 10. Petrakakos is also thought to have helped the Revolutionary Struggle leader in two bank robberies.

Officers think they have recovered Petrakakos’s fingerprint from a speedboat used by armed robbers to get away from the scene of a 300,000-euro bank heist northwest of Athens on Friday. Another fingerprint found in the vessel is believed to belong to another 35-year-old who is known to police. Witness descriptions also point to the involvement of a 44-year-old bank robber.