ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Three Greek and three Turkish men were charged Thursday with multiple terrorism-related offenses over an arms shipment allegedly headed for Turkey that Greek authorities intercepted in the Aegean Sea.
A total three Greeks and five Turks were arrested in the eastern Aegean and in Athens after the arms were seized on a speedboat on Tuesday. Three of the suspects are wanted by Turkey for alleged participation in an outlawed leftwing group that claimed a suicide bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara in February.
Greece has repeatedly denied Turkish media reports that it shelters Turkish extremists, and cooperation in fighting terrorism was on the agenda of high-level government talks earlier this year. Judicial authorities said six men held in the Aegean were charged with membership in a terrorist organization and possession of weapons with the intent to use them in acts of terrorism.
Four were arrested off the coast of the island of Chios on the 7-meter (23-foot) speedboat, which was carrying anti-tank weapons, handguns, hand grenades and improvised explosive devices. Two were arrested on the island itself.
Another two were detained in Athens, but charged only with using fake identity papers. None of the eight have been named, but authorities in Turkey say one of the Turkish suspects is Hasan Biber, who is wanted there for attacks claimed by the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C), considered a terrorist group by the United States.
Greek police spokesman Christos Parthenis said Thursday that three of the Turks are wanted in their country for alleged participation in the DHKP-C. He added that one of the Turkish men arrested in the Greek capital was using a passport stolen from the French military attache in Athens.