Po­lice on state of alert

Af­ter threats by es­caped N17 con­vict, se­cu­rity ramped up to Olympic lev­els

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Amid ris­ing fears of a pos­si­ble ter­ror­ist at­tack on a high-level tar­get, the Greek Po­lice is en­forc­ing se­cu­rity mea­sures akin to those used for the Athens Olympics in 2004, Kathimerini has learned.

Po­lice pa­trols have been in­ten­si­fied around cen­tral land­marks and ho­tels where for­eign of­fi­cials vis­it­ing Athens as part of the coun­try’s pres­i­dency of the Euro­pean Union are stay­ing. One of­fi­cial re­vealed that bomb dis­posal ex­perts have been in­structed to search in­di­vid­u­als and ve­hi­cles that ap­pear sus­pi­cious. The force is also re­view­ing se­cu­rity for the 320 top po­ten­tial tar­gets for ter­ror­ist hits in Athens, ac­cord­ing to sources, while Greek au­thor­i­ties are be­lieved to have sought the help of the FBI and Scot­land Yard.

The se­cu­rity alert comes a day af­ter fugi­tive Novem­ber 17 con­vict Christodou­los Xeros an­nounced his re­turn to ter­ror­ism in an online video mes­sage and let­ter. Xeros has been at large since ab­scond­ing from a fur­lough from Ko­ry­dal­los Prison ear­lier this month. A po­lice search for him con­tin­ued yes­ter­day, with raids on sev­eral apart­ments in Athens and Thes­sa­loniki and three ar­rests, two in the cap­i­tal and one in the north­ern port.

Mean­while, the po­lice of­fered a 4-mil­lioneuro re­ward to any­one pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the ar­rest of Xeros as well as another two con­victed mem­bers of Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Strug­gle and the un­known killers of two mem­bers of the ne­o­fas­cist Golden Dawn. Nikos Mazi­o­tis and Pana­giota Roupa are un­ac­counted for since July 2012, when they were re­leased af­ter serv­ing the max­i­mum of 18 months in pre­trial cus­tody.

Jus­tice Min­is­ter Har­alam­bos Athana­siou is draft­ing re­forms to make it eas­ier to remand sus­pects pend­ing trial and to tighten prison se­cu­rity. Ko­ry­dal­los Prison got a new war­den yes­ter­day. Hara Kout­somichali re­placed Maria Stefi, who was moved to another prison as a probe gets un­der way into how Xeros was al­lowed to meet with jailed mem­bers of Con­spir­acy of the Cells of Fire.

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