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Politics

Greek Cops Find Terrorist Weapons Cache, Linked to Kurdish Group

March 20, 2020

ATHENS – Greek anti-terrorism police said they apprehended 26 people in raids in the capital that found a terrorist batch of heavy weapons, including anti-tank arms, tied to Kurds from Turkey living in the country.

A police statement said the raids in two central Athens locations followed cooperation with Greece’s secret service. Press reports said and there was no indication the operation was connected with Islamic extremism.

But the raids were led by counter-terrorism teams and police sid they found a secret 20-meter (65.6-foot) tunnel under a property in the western neighborhood of Sepolia that also held Kalashnikov rifles, pistols and hand grenades.

Police were said to be investigating possible links to Turkish far-left terror group DHKP-C.

There was also a raid in the anarchist-dominated neighborhood of Exarchia where police for months have been clearing out squats and confronting anti-establishment groups as the New Democracy government stepped up its plan to quash violence and lawlessness.

Ten people reportedly will be charged with Kathimerini saying police believe the gangs were going to send the munitions by sea to Turkey in order to launch a terror attack.

A 60-year-old Turkish man known to Greek authorities by the code name “Kostas” is believed to be one of the ringleaders and had been under surveillance for several months by the counterterrorism unit and the National Intelligence Service who got involved after he was found making trips last October to the Dodecanese islands in the southeastern Aegean and Thrace in northeastern Greece.

Authorities first picked up on the man, who was not identified, in 2013 as one of the main suspects in an attempt to smuggle a large number of weapons and explosives into Turkey from Greece by boat.

He and another two Turkish nationals were arrested at the port of the island of Chios at the time and charged with illegal weapons smuggling and participation in the Turkish far-left DHKP-C terrorist organization. There was no report why he wasn’t still detained then.

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