A Pakistani jihadi group operating in the Greek capital was unveiled to be masterminded by a man who is wanted for murder in Iran and who recruited two men aged 27 and 29 to carry out a series of targeted terrorist attacks against innocent civilians and a Jewish restaurant/synagogue.
The terrorist organisation was dismantled by Greek police and intelligence officers.
The first target for the series of attacks, and in which the planning was almost completed, was a Jewish restaurant which also functioned as a synagogue. The restaurant-synagogue is in the central Athens neighbourhood of Psirri.
The would-be terrorists had chosen to attack either with weapons, explosives, or setting fire at a time when there would be more than 50 people in the building. In other words, the goal was a mass bloodbath.
For each dead person, the two Pakistani perpetrators would receive 15,000 euros from the Pakistani mastermind of the terrorist network, Proto Thema reported.
The case began to unfold two months ago when information about the network's activity reached the National Intelligence Service (EYP) of Greece. The Anti-Terrorism Department were also informed.
The two Pakistanis, who worked in various manual jobs in Attica and the countryside were immediately observed by intelligence officers and on February 15th and 16th they were arrested as they did not have the necessary papers to stay legally in Greece.
From their mobile phones, communications with the leader were found. The pair had carried out surveillance on Aesopou Street in Psirri. They then received the final instructions for carrying out the attack and began looking for more people to help carry out the terrorist attack.
"Following coordinated actions by the Greek Police and the National Intelligence Service, a terrorist network was dismantled that, with guidance from abroad, was planning strikes against carefully selected targets in Greek territory.
"On the basis of information collected and processed by the National Intelligence Service, coordinated operations of the EYP and the Anti-Terrorist Service (D.A.E.B.) were carried out in various areas.
"In the context of these coordinated actions of the two services, two (2) foreigners were arrested, members of the terrorist-leadership, who were active abroad, as the 'brains' of the network.
"They aimed not only at the loss of innocent citizens, but also at undermining the country's sense of security, simultaneously damaging its institutions and threatening its international relations.
"From the analysis of the seized information and digital data, it was revealed and confirmed that the members of the network:
- had already chosen as the target of the attack, a building of special significance,
- had carried out the reconnaissance of the area and the planning of the attack,
- had received final instructions for carrying out the attack,
"In implementation of these instructions they were also looking for other persons for the best possible execution of their mission.
"A criminal case file was opened, while in the morning hours of 03/28/2023, the arrested persons were brought before the Athens District Attorney and referred to an Investigator.
"The investigations are continuing."
Theodorikakos: Priority for the Police is national security
In his message on dismantling the terrorist network, the Minister of Citizen Protection, Takis Theodorikakos, said: "National security and dealing with any form of risk of a terrorist attack against targets inside the country are a priority for the Greek Police and a key area of cooperation with the National Intelligence Service."
"Recently, the Anti-Terrorist Service of the Hellenic Police, in collaboration with the National Intelligence Service, dismantled a terrorist organisation network in which foreigners participated, who were brought before the Court this morning.
"This operation confirms once again that the security authorities of the country maintain their preparedness at a very high level, for all Greeks and all visitors to our homeland".
It was recently revealed that up to 50,000 Pakistanis are living in Greece with fake papers, most having entered posing as Syrians during the 2015-2016 refugee crisis and without any real formal documents or identity papers.
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