Bomb hoax closes US Embassy

Anti-terrorism police sealed off the US Embassy in Athens yesterday and searched the surrounding area following a tip-off about a possible attack on the building which turned out to be groundless. The alarm was raised late Tuesday night after a 29-year-old Iraqi Kurd visited the embassy claiming to have information about an imminent attack on the embassy, ostensibly to be carried out by Iraqi acquaintances of his. But the police determined that the 29-year-old had fabricated the story to wreak revenge upon his acquaintances who, he claimed, were linked to the terror group al-Qaida. He was subsequently charged with disseminating false information. «It was clear from early on that this might not be a serious case, as the 29-year-old’s story was full of inconsistencies,» a senior policeman told Kathimerini. «But we were obliged to mobilize our forces,» he said. After the man’s warning, police sealed off the embassy, inspected cars in in the area and raided several homes in central Athens, detaining 75 immigrants, mostly Iraqis. Of those detained, 54 are to be charged with violating immigration laws. But police failed to find any explosives or any leads. During further questioning, the 29-year-old said he planned the hoax after being cheated out of 5,000 euros by his acquaintances, according to police. The man had asked for a reward in exchange for the tip-off, officials said. US Ambassador Charles Ries merely noted that «the cooperation (with Greek authorities) was excellent.»

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.