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Urban guerrillas escape to the forest

20 November 2013 / 21:11:44  GRReporter
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The terrorist group "17 November" which was broken up in 2002 had related its activities with Mount Parnitha, "The union of Executioners" with Penteli and "Revolutionary Struggle" with Hymettus. It turns out that the forests around Athens are not only places for recreation and fun but also for the "secret" activities of gangs and armed groups, as revealed by police investigations which have detected stashes, hiding places and even training grounds in the forest areas near Athens. The carefully hidden arsenal of four Kalashnikov guns, ten hand grenades and hundreds of bullets that they have recently found in a deserted area near the expensive suburb of Ipokatios Politia suggests that the armed bandits who are operating in Athens are being trained in the surrounding mountains.

This is not news however since, back in 1978, several packages of masking items, a Browning pistol, dozens of keys for cars and flats, a guide for making bombs and maps of potential targets of attacks had been found in the area of Parnitha. The majority of the records had been associated with the monitoring of representatives of the military dictatorship.

The Greek police kept secret the specific findings that the experts had connected with the "17 November" group. Investigators believe that one of the handwriting samples matches that of Alexandros Giotopoulos, leader of the organisation. The other author of the handwritten notes has so far remained unknown to the police.

It is worth noting that, in recent years, there have been various pieces of information on training of anarchists in the region of Parnitha, some of whom were involved in the group "Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei".

For many years, criminal gangs used Mount Penteli, to the other side of Athens, as an underground depot for concealment of weapons and explosives. It is believed that they had preferred the particular region because of its proximity to the house of a famous criminal who was a member of the "Union of Executioners".

According to police officers and other experts familiar with the modus operandi of the gangs led by "The Lords of the Night", there was a hidden arsenal there. "During forest fires in the region we were concerned that the hiding place might explode and injure the firefighters. However, explosions could often be heard from the particular region. It is striking that the members of the "Union" had purchased a company for marble both to have a rapid access and to launder money through it."

In the region of Penteli, at the 30th kilometre along the road to Nea Makri in particular, the authorities found in 2012 a Kalashnikov gun with a cartridge wrapped in a bag, a Tokarev pistol and 179 bullets.

In the region of Hymettus, the police found the outdoor shooting ground of the members of the "Revolutionary Struggle" group which, from 2003 to 2012, had carried out 15 armed attacks. Nikos Maziotis, who is wanted by the authorities today, is a member of the group.

In the past, the authorities had also found temporarily buried weapons, namely in 1995, in Pallini, where they had detected seven Kalashnikov guns which had been designed for the paramilitary MAVI group.

Tags: Crime newsArmed groupsMountainsHiding placesArsenalTerrorism
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