Terrorism & Insurgency

Raid on suspected DHKP-C cell in Athens finds high-powered firearms, indicates group's intent to continue attacks in Turkey

25 March 2020

Key Points

  • The Greek counter-terrorism service raided two locations in the capital Athens on 19 March, detaining 26 suspected members of the Turkish Marxist-Leninist Devrimci Halk Kurtuluş Partisi-Cephesi (DHKP-C) militant group.
  • The raid was the largest targeting the group recorded outside Turkey to date, in which security forces seized a substantial arsenal of weapons.
  • The cache of weapons seized seemingly demonstrated the DHKP-C’s continued intent to conduct deadly attacks in Turkey, while the location of the raid indicates a notable DHKP-C presence in Greece and possible links to Greek anarchist and far-left militant groups.

Greek counter-terrorism service personnel conducted raids, as part of ongoing operations targeting far-left militant groups, on a residence on Avlonos Street in the Sepolia district of Athens on 19 March, and on the Tzavella Street offices of the Solidarity Committee for Political Prisoners in Turkey and Kurdistan (a rights organisation for Kurdish people) in the Exarcheia district. Seventeen suspected members of the Turkish Marxist-Leninist group Devrimci Halk Kurtuluş Partisi-Cephesi (DHKP-C) were detained in Exarcheia, and nine other suspected members of the group were apprehended in Sepolia, where security personnel also discovered a 20-metre-long underground tunnel containing a cache of arms. This included rocket launchers, AK-series assault rifles, pistols, grenades, and ammunition. Reports stated that 11 of the individuals detained had subsequently been arrested, and Greek police further stated that the suspected militants had been planning to transfer the weapons to Turkey by boat, across the Aegean Sea, to conduct attacks there.

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