Eleven suspected members of the Turkish far-left guerrilla group DHKP-C were on Friday charged with membership of a terrorist organization and weapons charges after a joint operation by the Hellenic Police’s counterterrorism unit and the National Intelligence Service led to the discovery of a tunnel containing heavy artillery in Sepolia, near central Athens.
The 11 – all Turks, some of Kurdish origin – are to face an investigating magistrate in the coming days.
Police believe they had intended to transfer the munitions by sea to Turkey in order to launch a terror attack there. Among them is a 60-year-old Turkish man who had been under surveillance by Greek authorities after making trips last October to the Dodecanese islands and Thrace.
He had been a key player in an attempt in 2013 to smuggle weapons and explosives into Turkey from Greece by boat and still faces trial for that case.
Meanwhile counterterrorism officers determined that the tunnel discovered in Sepolia was nearly twice as long as they had first suspected, stretching 47 meters from the ground floor of a house to a construction site. Inside the tunnel, officers found anti-tank weapons, Kalashnikov rifles, pistols and hand grenades.