Greek terror suspect surrenders to authorities

AP News
Posted: Sep 30, 2011 7:21 AM
Greek terror suspect surrenders to authorities

A man wanted for possible ties to a domestic Greek terror group handed himself in Friday to Athens prosecutors and will go on trial next week, police said.

The 36-year-old, who has not been named, faced an arrest warrant for suspected participation in the Revolutionary Struggle group, which has claimed numerous bomb attacks in Athens, including against the Athens Stock Exchange and planting a massive bomb that failed to explode outside Citibank offices. The group also fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the U.S. embassy in 2007.

The man will be among eight suspected members, aged between 31 and 42, going on trial beginning Oct. 5. All face charges of participation in a terrorist organization. Other charges in the case include the supply and construction of explosives, causing explosions and attempted murder.

Three of the eight _ Nikos Maziotis, Panayiota Roupa and Kostas Gournas _ have admitted being members of the group and claim to be political prisoners. They have been held in pre-trial detention since April 2010. Another three of the suspects have been free on bail.

Maziotis, a self-described anarchist, previously served time in jail for planting a small bomb _ which did not explode _ outside a ministry building in 1997.

The group, which first appeared in 2003, also claimed responsibility for a gun attack against police in Athens in January 2009 that severely injured a policeman.

Those attacks came during a spike in militant violence that followed widespread rioting in Greek cities sparked by the fatal police shooting of an Athens teenager in December 2008.

Greece suffered decades of domestic militant violence, but had cracked down before the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, eradicating its most notorious terrorist group, November 17. Militant attacks spiked again after the December 2008 riots, with two new groups appearing and carrying out a string of bomb and gun attacks on symbols of wealth and authority.