Swoop on terrorist hideouts reveals arms caches, nine arrested

A total of nine suspects were being held by counter-terrorism police on Sunday after a coordinated swoop on at least four terrorist hideouts in Athens, Piraeus and the periphery the previous night, while ballistic tests on weaponry found in the Athens and Piraeus hideouts did not identify the arms with past terror attacks.
According to police, ballistics testing was continuing to ascertain link of the weaponry with other criminal acts.
Police officials said at noon Sunday that the ballistics tests have been completed on various weapons found inside a garage in the Athens district of Nea Smyrni, where two suspects were initially apprehended.
Suspicion has focused on the so-called "Revolutionaries' Sect" group, one of a handful of self-styled anti-state urban guerrilla cells that mostly operate in central Athens.
The two suspects were allegedly carrying a knapsack with weapons when arrested.
Besides the Nea Smyrni (Kessarias street) hideout, another apartment in the port city of Piraeus (Praxitelous street) also yielded a cache of weapons, including handguns and hand grenades.
Yet another residence in the western Greece city of Agrinio was been pinpointed and being searched with micro-cameras before authorities enter, and a fourth hideout was later discovered in the Athens district of Kallithea where, according to police sources, weapons and printed material were found.
Three individuals were detained in Agrinio and another was arrested in Siteia, Crete in relation to the same nationwide investigation. According to later information, the Siteia suspect has been identified as a university student from Athens, and only printed material, but no weapons, were found in his possession.
The total number of arrests over the weekend has reached nine.
Specifically, police said they have recovered, from the Athens and Piraeus hideouts, three sub-machineguns (Scorpions), seven automatic handguns (Glock, CZ, Baikal), three assault-style rifles (AK-47s), silencers, ammunition, four hand grenades and up to 50 kilos of ANFO-type explosives along with 200 grams of TNT.
Law enforcement speculation is focusing on whether the armed suspects were preparing a terrorist attack to coincide with the two-year anniversary (Dec. 6) of the shooting death of a teenager in downtown Athens by police, an incident that led to unprecedented urban rioting in the country, much of it fueled by youths linked to anarchist circles.
The apartment in Piraeus had been leased a year ago by two men claiming to be college students from Cyprus, with several months of rent paid in advance.
Police believe the hideouts belong to the Revolutionaries' Sect, which emerged after the riots sparked by the shooting death of 15-year-old pupil Alexis Grigoropoulos during incidents in the Exarchia district of central Athens on December 6, 2008. The group has claimed the killings of investigative journalist Socratis Giolias in July and a counter-terrorism police officer.