Friday, June 21 2024

Three arrested in ongoing counter-terrorism targeting urban guerrilla group

Three people have been arrested in an ongoing counter-terrorism operation in Athens that is believed to be linked with an investigation into Greek urban guerrilla group Popular Fighters Group (OLA).

The suspects, two men aged 38 and 42 and a woman aged 36, are accused of possessing weapons and explosives, Greek Police (ELAS) said on Thursday.

They had been under surveillance for seven months.

During the operation, started on Wednesday afternoon, counter-terrorism officers raided four houses.

One of the raids happened in a warehouse belonging to one of the suspects in the central district of Koukaki. Inside the warehouse, officers found ten kilos of gelignite, detonators and raw materials for making explosives. Two pistols were found in the house of the second detainee.

The two men are known to authorities. One of them had been accused of the abduction of businessman George Mylonas, in Thessaloniki on June 9, 2008, along with Vasilis Palaiokostas.

The second suspect had been arrested in September 2010 along with two more people in connection with a bank robbery in the small town of Psahna, in central Evia.

Authorities alo believe OLA is behind the night-time gun attack on the Israeli embassy in Athens on 12 December 2014, and bomb attacks against the downtown Athens headquarters of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV) in 24 November 2015, a branch of Eurobank in 19 April 2017 and the Athens Court of Appeals in 22 December of that year. 

The group has also claimed responsibility for a blast outside the building that houses private broadcaster Skai and Kathimerini newspaper in southern Athens on December 17, 2018.

ELAS said a briefing is planned after the completion of the operation.