More terrorist arrests

The arrest Saturday on night of Angeletos Kanas came some days after a counter-terrorism unit arrived on the island of Kimolos and put Kanas, allegedly a member of the Revolutionary People’s Struggle (ELA) who went under the code name of «George,» under surveillance. In statements to the press in the days before his arrest, Kanas denied any connection with the person described by police and hinted at a plot against him. Kanas also said that his ex-wife had been spreading rumors about him in local cafes. Kanas’s arrest came at a time when doubts were being raised about the authorities’ willingness to make arrests of ELA members, and of their ability to obtain evidence that would root out the «mother of all terrorist organizations.» The operation against ELA involves the group’s leadership of six. The arrest of the man identified as «George» is expected to be followed by all others whose code names were revealed in the archives of the former East German secret service, the Stasi. The leader of the organization is believed to be «Andrew,» an architect now aged 63, and the owner of a hotel on the Dodecanese island of Kalymnos, who has reportedly been seriously ill for several years. According to police sources, «George» was ELA’s main bombing expert and lived in Athens until 1994, and often had business dealings with «Andrew.» Second in ELA’s hierarchy, and believed to be the group’s organizational head, was «Philippe,» a 56-year-old civil engineer identified as Constantine Agapiou, arrested early yesterday in Kolonaki. «Philippe» was allegedly in charge of contacts with the group led by Carlos «The Jackal» and in charge of obtaining guns and explosives for the group. The third person at the head of ELA is alleged to go by the code name of «Nikolas» or «Dimitris,» now aged 55 and a senior civil servant. Fingerprints from two of these people have been found on ELA proclamations in the past. A woman code-named «Myrto,» allegedly Irini Athanasaki, who was arrested early yesterday, worked in a travel agency in Syntagma Square at the time of a botched November 17 attack against the then-economy minister, Ioannis Palaiokrassas, who escaped injury. Sources say «Myrto» may have been able to detonate the rocket from her office. Another suspect is «Michalis,» an actor with a municipal regional theater this year. Arrests of suspected members of the Revolutionary Nuclei and May 1 groups are also expected to be made soon.