NEWS

Weapons cache seen as intended for terror hit

YIANNIS SOULIOTIS

TAGS: Terrorism

Counterterrorism officers discovered a secret 20-meter-long underground tunnel during a raid on a property in the Athens district of Sepolia on Thursday that contained heavy artillery, including anti-tank weapons, Kalashnikov rifles, pistols and hand grenades.

Police were investigating possible links to Turkish far-left terror group DHKP-C.

The raid on the property in Sepolia, as well as one in Exarchia, led to the detention of 26 suspects for questioning, 10 of whom were to be charged.

Police believe the detainees had intended to transfer the munitions by sea to Turkey in order to launch a terror attack there.

A 60-year-old Turkish man known to Greek authorities by the code name “Kostas” is believed to have played a leading role.

The unnamed 60-year-old had been under surveillance for several months by the counterterrorism unit and the National Intelligence Service, whose interest was aroused after he made trips last October to the Dodecanese islands in the southeastern Aegean and Thrace in northeastern Greece.

He first appeared on authorities’ radar in 2013 as one of the key players in an attempt to smuggle a large number of weapons and explosives into Turkey from Greece by boat.

He and another two Turkish nationals were arrested at the port of the island of Chios at the time and charged with illegal weapons smuggling and participation in the Turkish far-left DHKP-C terrorist organization.

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