Terror breakthrough for police

Four suspected members of a militant anarchist group believed to have organized Wednesday’s bloodless attack on the central Athens home of an opposition PASOK deputy, and several other bomb blasts this year, faced a prosecutor yesterday. According to sources, police had been monitoring the suspects for months and had originally believed them to belong to the ranks of another militant group called Armed Revolutionary Action, best known for a tax office hit in Argyroupoli in 2007. But police said that evidence found after a raid on the home of two of the suspects in the northeastern Athens district of Halandri «indisputably» links them to a group called Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, which has become increasingly active over the past year. A homemade explosive device virtually identical to the one used in the bomb blast on the Kolonaki home of Louka Katseli on Wednesday was found in the Halandri house. Both devices had been deposited in cooking pots, as had been the case with a bomb that targeted the home of former Deputy Interior Minister Panayiotis Hinofotis in Palaio Faliro in July that was claimed by Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire. The four suspects detained, aged between 19 and 21, are all unemployed but from well-to-do families, sources said. The two arrested at the Halandri apartment on Wednesday night were the 21-year-old nephew of the apartment’s owner and his 20-year-old girlfriend. The other two were reportedly arrested in raids in Galatsi. The police raid on the Halandri property turned up a homemade time bomb along with quantities of explosives, timers and numerous written documents that police were analyzing yesterday. In what was seen as a protest at the arrest of the four terrorism suspects, a group of around 500 self-styled anarchists staged a rally in the central district of Exarchia late last night. At one point around 200 of them started throwing stones at a local police station and set fire to trash cans. No arrests or injuries were reported.