NEWS

Probe leads to terror ‘leader’

A police investigation aimed at breaking up a domestic terrorist group that has become increasingly active over the past four years yesterday focused on several houses in Karpenisi, central Greece, thought to have been used as hideouts by a 30-year-old man believed to have been a leading force in the group. The man, believed to be a very active figure among the anarchists in Exarchia, central Athens, was reportedly seen visiting a house in Halandri, northeastern Athens, that is believed to have acted as a key base for the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire. Sources said yesterday that his visits to the house, which had been under observation for several months, prompted last week’s raid that led to the arrest of four suspects. The fingerprints of three of these four suspects have reportedly been discovered on garbage bags taken from outside the Halandri house. According to sources, two of another six suspected members of the group also have their prints on the bags, which contained remnants of components used to assemble explosive devices. The four detained suspects are due to testify before an investigating magistrate today in connection with two attacks – one on the Kolonaki home of opposition PASOK deputy Louka Katseli last Wednesday and another in July on the home of former Deputy Interior Minister Panayiotis Hinofotis in Palaio Faliro. In a related development yesterday, Katseli clashed with the pre-election press spokesperson for ruling New Democracy over a comment the former is alleged to have made on her website describing the arrest of the four young terror suspects last week as «a pre-election trick.» Katseli claimed that the statement had been uploaded onto her site by hackers. Earlier yesterday, ND spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos had said the statement was a testimony to «PASOK’s nervousness.» Meanwhile, forensic experts were examining explosives and arms fished out of the sea off Vouliagmeni. Divers retrieved a package containing hand grenades, shell launchers and detonators after an anonymous caller reported seeing someone dump a package into the sea. The material is believed to have been stolen from the army but no terrorist links have been established.