The Greek counter-terrorism squad has raided three Athens apartments, in the Neos Kosmos and Kallithea neighbourhoods, which they believe are the lairs of members of the Turkish Revolutionary Liberation Party Front (DHKP-C), a Marxist-Leninist party in Turkey that includes a military arm and is classified as a terrorist group by the US and the European Union.
The eight men and one woman arrested, who are of Turkish descent, are believed by authorities to belong to the DHKP-C, members of which had been arrested in Greece in 2011 and 2014 in Thessaloniki and Athens.
The counter-terrorism bureau believes those arrested may be linked to a 2013 weapons transport on a ship that was tracked down off the northeastern Aegean island of Chios.
DHKP-C has in the past been implicated by Turkish authorities in the Ergenekon scandal and later linked by the government to Fetullah Gulen, whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed for the failed coup attempt against him, in July, 2016.
The Greek Police investigation is focusing on the evidence collected in the two raids, including material for the construction of bombs, computers, USB sticks, and the cell phones of the individuals arrested, from which they hope to glean evidence of the group’s activity and contacts.
Polices sources say they have found a trove of digital information, which will require protracted analysis.
The bomb-making equipment that was seized includes detonators, batteries, dynamite clocks, and material used mainly for the construction of simple explosive devices, which was found in vases.
Police are also closely examining the travel documents found in the three homes.
According to a high-level Greek Police source, the Turkish nationals had been recently discovered by the counter-terrorism unit, which conducted the investigation and collection of evidence with in total secrecy.