Israel Helps Greece Foil Planned Terrorist Attack on Jewish Centre

Greek anti-terrorism squad officers cordon a street in Sepolia district in Athens, Greece, 19 March 2020. Photo: EPA-EFE/PANTELIS SAITAS

Investigations began months ago following information provided to the Greek National Intelligence Service, NIS, by the Israeli secret service Mossad.

Late on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office issued a statement noting Mossad's cooperation with NIS and claimed the two alleged terrorists were linked with Iran.

"After the start of the investigation of the suspects in Greece, Mossad rendered intelligence assistance in unraveling the infrastructure, its work methods, and the link to Iran," the statement said.

"The investigation revealed that the infrastructure operated in Greece is part of an extensive Iranian network run from Iran and spanning many countries."

Criminal charges were filed against the unnamed two Pakistani nationals who will testify on Friday.

"The operation demonstrates that the country's security authorities maintain a high state of readiness for all Greeks and all visitors to our country," Public Order Minister Takis Theodorikakos said in a tweet.

According to Greek police, the two arrested had already chosen a building of particular significance as the target. The Greek media have said it was a Jewish restaurant-synagogue in the centre of Athens. They had already planned the attack and received instructions while looking for partners to execute their mission better.

"They aimed not only to cause the loss of life of innocent people but also at undermining the sense of security in the country, simultaneously damaging its institutions and threatening its international relations," the Greek police said.

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