Turkish terror suspect detained after Greece intercepts explosives-laden boat
Greek coast guards discovered two anti-tank weapons, four grenades, 200 bullets and two guns, together with a number of explosives. DHA photoGreek security forces have detained Hasan Biber, wanted in Turkey for alleged involvement in two attacks in March, after intercepting an explosives-laden boat near the shores of Chios in the Aegean Sea, Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Güler announced on July 31.
Greek officials intercepted the inflatable boat loaded with ammunition and explosives early on July 30, detaining two Turkish and two Greek citizens, Anadolu Agency reported, citing Greek state agency ANA-MPA.
Biber, one of the chief suspects in the two attacks against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters and the Justice Ministry in Ankara on March 19, is among the four people detained by the Greek authorities. Güler also said Biber was a member of the outlawed leftist organization the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), and was confirmed to be the perpetrator of the bomb attack at the Justice Ministry.
He said three other suspects detained in the boat were another DHKP/C member and two others holding French and Bulgarian IDs, likely to be Turkish nationals.
After being asked whether the suspects would be handed back to Turkey, Güler said they would be. “Of course this process will happen. There was a crime committed there and another crime committed here. What’s necessary will be done,” he said.
Greek coast guards discovered two anti-tank weapons, four grenades, 200 bullets and two guns, together with a number of explosives, when they stopped the vessel, the report said.
Officials also alleged that the Turkish citizens, as well as one of the Greek suspects, had participated in armed activities in Turkey. One of the detained Greek citizens, a 22-year-old student, told the police that he had received 500 euros to carry the weapons and the Turkish citizens.
Greek daily To Vima claimed there was a strong suspicion that the detained suspects were members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or the DHKP/C, which carried out a Feb. 1 attack against the U.S. Embassy in Ankara that left one dead, in addition to the bomber. It was later established that the assailant, Ecevit Şanlı, had entered Turkey illegally via Greece.
“The suspects were probably shipping arms, probably to organize an attack in İzmir,” the newspaper’s website said, according to Anadolu Agency. Both suspects are reportedly of Kurdish origin and one of them had previously asked for asylum in Greece, the report added.
12 suspects detained in raids
Following the detentions, security forces also organized raids on apartments in Athens, Thessaloniki and Corinth, detaining a total of 12 suspects.
DHKP/C camps in Greece were long the subject of a dispute between Ankara and Athens, but the Greek government closed a number of the camps a few months ago, according to Turkish media.
Biber is the former head of the Liman-İş union, which said in a statement in March that he had been the head of the union from 1992 to 1999 but was no longer linked to it.
Meanwhile, Güler also said that 64 DHKP/C members were currently sought by Interpol, responding to a parliamentary question from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Özcan Yeniçeri, Doğan News Agency reported.
Güler said 79 DHKP/C members were sought by Interpol, but 15 of them were no longer wanted as their cases had either reached the statute of limitations or the case had been stopped.