Two Pakistani suspects arrested on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack on a Jewish restaurant-synagogue in central Athens were led back jail on Friday after testifying before an examining magistrate.
The two men of Pakistani origin are accused of being members of a terrorist organisation and planning to attack a synagogue building in the Psirri neighbour, which also has a restaurant.
According to evidence in the case file, they were allegedly recruited with the promise of a hefty payment for human loss, by a branch of Iran's Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.
The 27-year-old Hayder claimed before the investigator that in his communication with the 30-year-old "mastermind", who is allegedly in Iran, he agreed to carry out the attack but later refused because he was afraid of being arrested.
Hayder admitted that he received an advance from the 30-year-old to take videos and photos of Chabad House but when he backed down the 30-year-old convinced him otherwise.
According to SKAI, the 27-year-old contacted an Albanian criminal to help him find weapons, who replied that "this is my job". However, once the criminal learned of the planned massacre he refused to get involved in the plot, described by Hayder to be "similar to that of 2015 in Paris."
Regarding the 30-year-old "mastermind", the two defendants admitted before the investigator:
- They know him personally
- He was a fellow villager and a classmate of one of the two
- He is Pakistani and accused of murder but escaped to Iran
- He was going to pay the terrorists 15,000 euros for each victim
In November 2022, the alleged "mastermind" had asked the 27-year-old to take pictures of the Jewish Synagogue in Athens. The 27-year-old, who lived in Zakynthos, actually traveled to Athens and took the photos. After sending them to the alleged "mastermind", he returned to the island.
In January, he traveled to Athens again. The "mastermind" contacted him and revealed to him the plan for the terrorist attack. However, according to what his lawyer said, "he saw that it will not be so easy and that it will have consequences."
They reportedly tried to recruit at least tree of their countrymen. Greek intelligence believe that they have received money from Iran through remittances to Pakistani banks, but it is very difficult to trace them.
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