NEWS

Police raid suspected terrorist hideout in Sepolia

TAGS: Terrorism, Crime

Counter-terrorism officers in Athens have raided what they believe to be a second hideout of an escaped convict and suspected member of an urban guerrilla group who was arrested on January 30 while on the run from prison. The suspect, identified as Yiannis Michalidis, had been convicted to 13 years in prison for an armed attack against police in 2015.

Officers on Sunday discovered the apartment in Sepolia, west of Athens city center, that was rented under the name of Constantina Athanasopoulou in October. Athanasopoulou (an associate of Panagiota Roupa, a leading member of the Revolutionary Struggle guerrilla group, had violated the terms of her conditional release, and disappeared during her trial in June 2019) is one of two women who were arrested late January with Michalidis, a 32-year-old alleged member of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire dubbed “Syntagma archer” for trying to shoot at police with a bow-and-arrow during an Athens protest in 2011.

A search of the apartment turned up a laptop computer, two cell phones, one CB radio, and several keys.

Police have taped the area off as the investigation is ongoing.

On Friday, counter-terrorism officers raided another hideout in the Athens neighborhood of Patissia. A search of the apartment turned up computer memory devices, a SIM card and a drone, as well as a printer, laminating plastic and photo portraits of Michailidis similar to the ones on a fake identity card he had been carrying when he was arrested.

Investigators said that Michailidis may have been planning to hold up a bank in northern Greece at the time of his arrest.

Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire are renowned for holding up banks to fund their operations. The 32-year-old suspect has been accused of involvement in a double heist in Velvento in Kozani in 2013 carried out by members of the group.

The group is also known for sending letter bombs to prominent financial and political figures, including the one that badly injured Greece’s interim prime minister Lefteris Papadimas in 2017 and another that injured an employee at the IMF Paris headquarters.

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