Athens – A week before Passover, Greek police said Tuesday they have arrested two people who had been allegedly planning terrorist attacks in the country, including at least one against a Jewish and Israeli target, aimed at causing mass casualties.
The suspects, who were allegedly part of an overseas terrorism network, are being held at police headquarters in central Athens, authorities said.
TheToc publishes the photos of the two Pakistani terror suspects, identified by the Anti-Terrorism Service officers, who were allegedly preparing an attack on a Jewish restaurant that doubles as a synagogue in the center of Athens.
They are 27-year-old Haider, who lived in Zakynthos, and 29-year-old Hussein, who lived in Sparta.
The Kathimerini newspaper reported from sources that the target was a synagogue in the center of Athens, while another media outlet stated that it was a synagogue that also serves as a restaurant – possibly referring to a Chabad house.
Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office released a statement saying that the Mossad assisted Greece in gathering intelligence on the suspects and their connection to Iran. “This is another attempt by Iran to promote terrorism against Israeli and Jewish targets abroad… As part of the investigation, it was revealed that the infrastructure that operated in Greece is part of a wide Iranian network that operates from Iran out in many countries,” the statement added.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that the arrest was “further proof of the superiority of Israeli intelligence and the importance of international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and its perpetrators.” He added that “The Mossad and Israel’s intelligence agencies will continue to ensure that wherever Iran seeks to act against our citizens, it will be met with an effective response.”
Greece’s anti-terrorism police division and National Intelligence Service were involved in the arrests, according to a police statement, and were assisted by a foreign intelligence service that has not been named.
Police said the suspects had chosen a target of “high symbolism” and were making final preparations for the attack.
“Their aim was not only to cause the loss of life of innocent citizens, but also to undermine the sense of security in the country, while hurting public institutions and threatening (Greece’s) international relations,” the police statement said.
“Authorities have uncovered members of a terrorist organization involving foreign nationals, who have been taken to the public prosecutor,” Public Order Minister Takis Theodorikakos said in a tweet.
“The operation demonstrates that the country’s security authorities maintain a high state of readiness for all Greeks and all visitors to our country.”
According to the Greek media, the network was exposed following the arrest of Pakistani citizens in Cyprus in 2021, who planned to harm Israelis, and also following the foiling of an attempted attack against Israelis in Turkey last year.