ATHENS – An explosion which rocked a makeshift mosque in the capital was directed at an imam, a Muslim religious leader who oversees prayers, said The The Movement Against Racism and the Fascist Threat (KEERFA.)
It took place in the Patissia neighborhood that has a heavy makeup of migrants although the country’s first official mosque opened late in 2020 in another Athens area so that Muslims wouldn’t have to worship in basements, halls and rooms in buildings.
There were no reports of injuries but there was material damage, including to two cars and police said a homemade device was used, said Kathimerini, but no motive reported nor claim of responsibility.
“The imam was inside when the bomb exploded. They wanted him dead,” the group stated, adding that he was saved from harm by materials and clothing he put inside to keep out the cold while he slept.
Investigators reportedly found screws and metal nuts, which the perpetrators had put in the bomb in order to cause more damage.
“The target was obviously the Muslim prayer place, which immediately makes this explosion a terrorist act. And as such it should be investigated by the authorities,” the Muslim Association of Greece said in a statement.
Investigators were said to be looking at far-right extremists and worried that the blast could signal more violence from neo-Nazi groups after the now disbanded Golden Dawn party threatened the official mosque before it opened.