Greek counterterror operation yields 3 arrests, arms cache

by ace

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Greek authorities announced on Saturday they had arrested three people and detained 15 others in a "wide sweep" of the police anti-terrorist squad against left-wing extremist suspects who also surrendered a weapons cache.

Someone else is out, police said on Saturday, adding that the operation is ongoing.

Two of the detainees, and the only one, all 40 years old, are accused of engaging in terrorist acts, illegal possession of firearms and explosives and forgery. The three allegedly participated in a robbery at a betting shop in the Athens suburb on October 21, police said.

The third person arrested, a 39-year-old woman, was arrested for "violating the firearms law," police said.

The anti-terror squad's sweep through 13 houses produced, among other things, five AK-47 rifles, a submachine gun, two pistols, grenades, explosives and detonators.

Tests on the confiscated shotguns showed that one AK-47 was used in the bookstore robbery and another was used in 2014, 2016 and twice in 2017.

In May 2014, on election day for the European Parliament, shots were fired at the offices of the socialist party, and then decided in coalition with the conservatives.

In January and November 2017, shots of the AK-47 were fired at riot police guarding the offices of the socialist party. A police officer had been injured in the first of these attacks.

In July 2016, shots were fired at the Mexican Embassy in Athens.

Also, in November 2016, a grenade dropped at the French Embassy in central Athens had injured a police officer.

All of the above actions were claimed by a group called "Revolutionary Self-Defense Organization" that had not operated before 2014.

One of the men arrested was arrested in 2010 for belonging to the armed group "Revolutionary Struggle". He was released in early February 2018.



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