Members of Greece’s counterterrorism department were on Thursday questioning Panagiota Roupa, a leading member of the Revolutionary Struggle terrorist organization, following her arrest in Ilioupoli, southeastern Athens, early in the morning.
On the run since 2014, 48-year-old Roupa was found in hiding with her 5-year-old son during a raid shortly after 6 a.m. by officers of the Greek Police’s counterterrorism department and the EKAM special forces.
According to police sources, Roupa, whose partner is the jailed leader of Revolutionary Struggle Nikos Maziotis, did not attempt to resist arrest or reach for a gun she had on her but asked officers to protect her child.
In a parallel operation, police arrested a 25-year-old woman after raiding an apartment in Aghios Dimitrios. The woman, who was detained on charges of harboring a criminal, is alleged to have helped Roupa during her time on the run.
Police discovered her alleged link to Roupa after observing Roupa’s safe house in Ilioupoli in recent months. The 25-year-old, who is also said to have baby-sat for Roupa’s son, had not been on the Greek Police’s radar before that.
In addition, police detained a third suspect, who is believed to be linked to a series of armed robberies carried out by Revolutionary Struggle and to have close ties to Roupa herself. He was arrested in the Athens suburb of Nea Smyrni during a raid that led to the confiscation of a pistol and hand grenade.
More guns and ammunition were discovered in a raid on a garage in Alimos a few hours after the arrests, according to sources. Police also seized two stolen cars, a Golf and Hyundai, which members of the organization are believed to have used.
After their arrest, the three suspects were detained at the Attica General Police Headquarters (GADA) for questioning while Roupa’s son was put under the protection of a prosecutor for minors.
Revolutionary Struggle has claimed responsibility for several armed attacks, including firing a rocket-propelled grenade at the US Embassy in Athens in 2007.
According to a police investigation, Roupa moved to the Ilioupoli apartment with her son shortly after abandoning a safe house in Pefki, northern Athens, following the arrest of Maziotis after a shootout with police in central Athens in the summer of 2014.
A high-ranking police officer said authorities had indications recently that the 48-year-old had been living in the southern suburbs and the investigation had focused on Ilioupoli and two more adjacent municipalities in recent weeks.
Roupa is to be transferred to Attica’s high-security Korydallos Prison where she is to continue serving a 50-year sentence for her role in Revolutionary Struggle.
Last year, Roupa was allegedly involved in the hijacking of a helicopter, with which authorities suspect she had aimed to fly to Korydallos and release Maziotis. But the attempt failed after the pilot resisted and the helicopter landed in a rural area far from Athens.