Greek police arrested two far-left extremists in Thessaloniki, after the pair attempted to set off explosives at the house of conservative former Minister of State Dimitris Stamatis.
The pair, a 27-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman, were arrested on Wednesday morning in the Kalamariá area of the city as the male was attempting to detonate improvised explosives he had hidden in his backpack.
Following the arrests, police raided four houses in the centre of the city connected with the pair. Investigators found a tear gas grenade, four homemade explosives, a slingshot with metal bolts, plastic bottles full of flammable material, cannabis, and electronics that will be examined by a crime lab, Proto Thema reports.
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Police suspect another ten people as being connected to the case, and prosecutors have said they will charge the pair with several indictments including attempted bombing, possession of explosives, possession of small amounts of narcotics, and forming a criminal organisation.
Both of the suspects have denied the allegations, according to their lawyers.
Investigators were tipped off to the pair’s activities after watching the woman observe a nearby apartment while on her bicycle. The 27-year-old male was seen visiting the area a short time later and trying to light fuses for the improvised explosives.
The case comes just over a week after far-left Antifa extremists were believed to be behind a coordinated number of arson attacks across Athens, with 40 people arrested in connection with the incident. All suspects were later released due to a lack of evidence.
The attempted bomb plot against former minister Stamatis echoes the bombing of a party office of Matteo Salvini’s League in the city of Treviso in August of 2018.
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The far-left “Santiago Maldonado Cell” later took credit for the bombing which damaged the door at the entrance. Police were able to disarm a second explosive device that is believed to have been the main bomb. The first was designed to lure police.
Spanish anarchist Juan Antonio Sorroche Fernandez was arrested last year in connection with the bombing, a long-time far-left extremist.