Police arrest three on terrorism charges; ongoing ‘wide sweep’

Police arrest three on terrorism charges; ongoing ‘wide sweep’

Greek police say their counterterrorism squad has arrested two men and a woman allegedly implicated in terrorism activities and have detained another 15 persons in an ongoing  “wide sweep” that began Friday noon.

Police say they have raided 13 houses and found, among other things, 5 AK-47 guns, a submachine gun, two pistols, detonators, dynamite, TNT and grenades. The rifles will be examined for any prior use in terrorist acts, police say.

The two arrested men, 41 and 43, are implicated in a robbery at a games of chance outlet in the Athens suburb of Holargos last October 21. Another man, aged 46, accused, like the other two, of terrorist activity, illegal possession of firearms and explosives and forgery, is at large. The woman is accused of violating the firearms law, police said Saturday.

The 41-year-old had previously spent almost eight years in jails for his participation in armed group “Revolutionary Struggle.” He had been released in February 2018, benefiting from a law the then leftist government had voted.

Ballistics tests confirmed that one of the guns found had been used in attacks against the offices of socialist PASOK by a guerrilla group calling itself Revolutionary Self Defense in January 2017.

The same Kalashnikov was used in an attack against the Mexican embassy in Athens in July 31, 2016. The same group had claimed responsibility for a hand grenade thrown against the French embassy in the Greek capital on November 10 of the same year, which injured a police officer.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis congratulated counterterrorism police and the Civil Protection  Ministry for the arrests and reiterated his pledge to “finish with the problem of domestic Greek terrorism once and for all."

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