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New wave of parcel terrorism, extremists’ secret meeting place is being looked for

05 November 2010 / 16:11:04  GRReporter
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New wave of parcel explosives flooded Athens. Suspicious package was found in the office of the ACS courier company in the district of Kallithea. Exploding mechanism was hidden in a religious book, the sender of which was written to be Archbishop Yeronimos of Athens and the recipient was the Embassy of France in the Greek capital. The police said the parcel was sent on Monday by another courier company located in the district of Halandri. Employees of the company deemed the contents of the parcel suspicious and notified the explosive disposal department at the police. The experts carried out controlled explosion. In parallel, the French Foreign Ministry confirmed the information that the Embassy received a parcel that was sent under suspicious circumstances. Mission’s employees called the police that disposed the parcel.

Greek police was on the alert for the presence of five other parcels in the UPS office in the Athens suburb Markopoulou intended for various embassies. There was a signal for a parcel in the Greek Parliament, addressed to the Chairman Filippos Petsalnikos, but not containing the sender’s name. In this case, however, no explosive was found.

Police are still on the alert as it is not clear yet whether all parcels bombs were found. According the police information, 15 parcels have been sent and 13 were found until yesterday. According to unofficial information, the anti-terrorist service has identified two or three young people who have sent the parcel explosives to Berlin and Rome. The same source claims that they are part of the list of five wanted for involvement in the terrorist organization Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei and were identified by employees of the courier companies. Police are still searching the secret meeting place of the group in the neighbourhoods from which the parcels were sent.

A meeting with a single agenda topic on the security of parcels sending chain was held earlier today at the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks and Minister Dimitris Repas proposed items to be closed in the presence of post-office clerks, paying particular attention to respect the confidentiality of communication and the possible delay in delivery. The proposal will be discussed within the European debate on security of parcels that are sent by mail or by civil aviation aircraft. The National Commission for Telecommunications and Posts made a warning to courier companies to be especially careful when accepting parcels and stressed that under the rules for conducting courier services the company has the right to refuse to accept a consignment for which it has requested content verification that the sender refused to be carried out.

The two arrested for the case of sending parcel bombs are under protective custody. 22-year-old Panagiotis Argiru and 24-year-old Gerasimos Tsakalos were taken to the investigator at 10 o’clock in the morning under escort and very strict security measures. There they refused to answer the investigative questions and said they did not wish to participate in the procedure. They are charged with committing terrorist acts, involvement in a terrorist organization, system delivery, production and possession of explosives and bombs and systematic explosions. Тhe indictment reads that procedures have been started against them for 4 parcel bombs, two of which were found with them at the time of the arrest. The parcels were addressed to the French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Belgian Embassy in Athens. After completion of formal legal procedure, Argiru was taken to the prison located in the Athens suburb of Korydallos and Tsakalos – to the prison in the city of Malandrino.

Tags: Parcel terrorismParcels to embassiesControlled explosionsCrime news
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