Two suspected left-wing terrorists have been charged in Athens in connection with attacks against embassies in the Greek capital. The men, who were arrested along with a woman in a massive anti-terror operation last week, appeared before a judge in Athens on Tuesday.
They were charged with membership of the Revolutionary Self Defense, a terrorist organisation which has claimed credit for attacks on the French and Mexican embassies in 2016. Under Greek law they can be detained for up to 18 months pending trial, the Guardian reports.
The arrests followed a raid on November 9 on thirteen premises in Athens, during which police said they found a Kalashnikov rifle used in a series of attacks between 2014 and 2017. The gun was part of a large cache of weapons discovered, including explosives, detonators, dynamite and TNT.
Police said ballistics tests on the rifle found during last week’s raids connected it to attacks on the Athens offices of the PASOK party in 2014, shots fired at the Mexican embassy in 2016 and two other attacks against police guarding PASOK offices in 2017, according to reporting in The New York Times.
After the assault on the French embassy in 2016, in which a security guard was injured when attackers on a motorcycle threw a grenade at the building, the group issued a statement claiming responsibility and stating its aim was to “to attack the oligarchy of state, the dictatorship of capital and its armed guardians.”
The statement also mentioned the death of the environmental activist, Rémi Fraisse, killed by a stun grenade fired by gendarmes during a protest against the construction of a dam in south-west France in October 2014. It also referred to the imprisonment of Lebanese Communist militant Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, who was given a life sentence in 1987 for the murders of a US military attaché and an Israeli diplomat in 1982, according to Le Monde.
Speaking ahead of the court hearing on Tuesday Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Skai TV that the operation had been a “very big success” and that “a very dangerous operational branch of neo-terrorism in Greece has been dismantled.”