NEWS

Group’s weapons cache found

Police forensic staff yesterday were examining large quantities of guns and explosives confiscated from a fifth-floor apartment in the district of Kypseli, near central Athens, that was raided by counterterrorism officers on Monday night and is believed to have operated as the central weapons cache of Revolutionary Struggle. Among the weapons seized by officers was an RPG-7 anti-tank grenade launcher believed to have been used in January 2007 in a bloodless attack on the US Embassy in Athens. Another weapon removed from the apartment – an MP5 submachine gun – bears the same serial number as the gun stolen from a guard during a raid on a Thessaloniki bank in August 2004, police said. This contradicts the police’s original theory that a submachine gun used in an armed attack on a police station in Nea Ionia in April 2007 was the weapon stolen from a guard outside the home of a former supreme court president earlier that month. Police sources said yesterday that this development also consolidates their suspicions that Revolutionary Struggle had funded its attacks from the proceeds of bank robberies. The discovery of 119,000 euros in cash in the trunk of a car belonging to Constantinos Gournas, one of six suspected members of the terror group currently in custody, had fueled this theory. In addition to the grenade launcher and the submachine gun, police confiscated several hand grenades and pistols as well as dynamite and other explosives from the apartment on Aiginis Street. Emptying the apartment took several hours as police first had to evacuate residents, who were put up in a hotel overnight, and to check that the cache was not booby-trapped. According to sources, police traced the arms cache using one of three forged identity cards used by Gournas. The name on the forged card, Anastassios Grivocostopoulos, had been used by Gournas to rent the Aiginis Street apartment. Forensic experts yesterday examined other weapons for DNA evidence that might match the six suspects in custody or lead to new suspects.