Two suspected extremists arrested in Greece

By AFP
Published: January 31, 2016
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

THESSALONIKI, GREECE: Two men with Swedish passports and carrying machetes and other “combat paraphernalia” have been arrested in Greece, suspected of links to extremist groups, Greek police sources said on Sunday.

A 28-year-old man of Bosnian descent and a 19-year-old of Yemeni origin were travelling by bus when they were arrested on Thursday in the northern city of Alexandroupolis, near the Turkish border, according to police sources.

Inside their luggage were found two machetes, army uniforms and other “combat paraphernalia”, the sources said. Both men have been charged with carrying weapons and will go before a magistrate on Tuesday, police said.

The 28-year-old is known to European authorities for ties to extremists, having been convicted in the past for planning a terrorist attack and was under the close eye of Swedish authorities, police sources said.

Mega Channel reported on Sunday that in 2005 the man was arrested in Bosnia after the police, during a raid at his house, found a suicide belt, explosives and a video showing a man with a covered face threatening terrorist acts against the US Capitol and the White House.

He was sentenced to up to 14 years in Bosnian prison, but was released in 2011 and asked for political asylum in Sweden, according to Greek police sources.

The two men arrived in Greece by plane from Sweden “ten days ago”, and they travelled by bus to Thessaloniki and then to Alexandroupolis with tickets bound for Turkey, police said.

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