Greece on Friday remanded into custody two Pakistani suspects accused of plotting an anti-Semitic attack after they testified before a magistrate, their lawyer said.
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The two men, aged 29 and 27, admitted exchanging messages concerning a possible attack on a Jewish restaurant in Athens, lawyer Iraklis Stavaris told AFP.
They are charged with participation in a terrorist organization, a crime that carries a possible life sentence.
Stavaris on Friday said his clients had admitted exchanging Viber messages with a third man, whom police have identified as a Pakistani allegedly living in Iran.
On the third man’s instructions, Stavaris said, they scouted out and took photographs of a kosher restaurant in Athens that is also a Jewish prayer center.
Police arrested the two Pakistanis in February for illegal entry into Greece.
Citizen's Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos told Skai TV this week that the alleged plot targeted “locations of Jewish and Israeli interest in Athens.” Asked if the case was watertight, he replied: “absolutely.”
“Monetary gain was the apparent motive,” he told the channel.
Following an investigation by Greek intelligence agency EYP, anti-terror police carried out raids in Athens, Sparta on the Peloponnese peninsula and on the island of Zakynthos, the minister said.
Greece was included on a list of countries with travel warnings issued by Israel’s National Security Council ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover in early April.
Israel this week accused Tehran of being behind the plot and said its Mossad intelligence agency had assisted the investigation.
Iran’s embassy in Greece on Wednesday denied any connection to the alleged plot.
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