NEWS

Terror suspects had planned hit, police say

Four terrorist suspects arrested on Thursday are believed to have been planning an attack ahead of the scheduled start on Monday of the trial of 13 suspected members of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, police said on Friday without drawing any clear link between the four young men and the guerrilla group.

A fifth suspect – identified as a 27-year-old German woman who teaches foreign languages at a cramming school in Athens – was also detained for questioning by police. According to sources, the woman?s mother is a suspected member of the Red Army Faction – a defunct leftist German guerrilla group – and there is an international warrant out for her arrest. As for the four key suspects, police said they are all university students from Thessaloniki who recently moved to Athens and used fake identification cards to rent apartments in the neighborhoods of Vyronas and Tavros, raided by police on Thursday. Police said they had been watching the suspects, all aged between 21 and 23, for the past two weeks. The raids on the two apartments turned up several weapons, including a Kalashnikov assault rifle which, tests showed, has not been used in previous terrorist attacks.

Police said they also detained a 30-year-old member of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), said to have been carrying a stolen police ID card. Dimosthenis Papadatos claimed to have been beaten by police.

In a related development, four suspected members of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire – Panagiotis Argyrou, Gerasimos Tsakalos, Haris Hatzimichelakis and Giorgos Karagiannidis – faced a magistrate on charges of participating in a letter bomb campaign that targeted foreign embassies in Athens in November. They were given an extension until February 14 to prepare their defense.