Greek police say they have evidence linking terror suspects to US embassy attackBy AP
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Greece: Evidence found on US embassy attack
ATHENS, Greece — Evidence links suspected members of a domestic terrorist group to a 2007 rocket-propelled grenade attack on the U.S. embassy in Athens, Greek police said Thursday.
Police chief Lefteris Oikonomou said computer hard drives found in a backpack left inside a car owned by one of the six arrested suspects contained statements and drafts by Revolutionary Struggle — including one claiming responsibility for the embassy attack. The attack damaged the front of the embassy building.
Two handguns, ammunition, and euro119,240 ($161,500) in cash were also found in the backpack.
The six suspected members of the far-left militant group were arrested over the weekend, during multiple raids.
The suspects — five men and one woman aged between 30 and 41 — have been charged with multiple counts of attempted homicide, causing explosions, and arms possession offenses. They face up 25 years in prison if found guilty on the main charges.
Oikonomou said the hard drives were found in the backpack in the truck of the car, which also contained the guns and money, along with three fake state identity cards, all bearing the same photograph of one of the suspects.
“The two handguns have not been used in any criminal activity,” Oikonomou said.
The discovery announced Thursday follows daily raids on suspected safe houses used by the group. Authorities are still searching for the group’s main arms cache.
Oikonomou said statements linked to 16 of the group’s attacks, between 2003 and 2009, were found on the hard drive, including in three bombings or attempted bombing against U.S. bank Citibank.
Also found was a list of details on prominent politicians businessmen and journalists, who are considered potential targets, Oikonomou said.
Revolutionary Struggle first appeared in 2003, a year after authorities eradicated Greece’s deadliest left-wing group, November 17, and has bombed banks, government buildings and the Athens Stock Exchange, in three cases causing minor injuries to bystanders.
The U.S. government subsequently has offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the capture of Revolutionary Struggle members. Greece has said it would match the move with a euro800,000 reward of its own. Greek officials have not given any indication that the rewards have been claimed.
Domestic terrorism waned after the eradication of November 17, during a security crackdown ahead of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Since then, Revolutionary Struggle has been the most prominent militant group, though new groups have also emerged since massive riots erupted in December 2008, sparked by the fatal police shooting of a teenage boy.
Tags: Athens, Embassies, Europe, Greece, North America, Terrorism, United States, Violent Crime, Western Europe