- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 7, 2002

ATHENS Greek police, assisted by American and British agents, raided an apartment yesterday and found dozens of anti-tank rockets that they believe were stolen from the army in the late 1980s by the elusive November 17 terrorist group.
Police now believe they have seized most, if not all, of the terrorist group's known arsenal.
It was the second such police raid against the group since Wednesday, when weapons and documents were seized from what police said was the group's main hide-out in downtown Athens.
However, November 17's shadowy leaders, sought for nearly three decades, continue to elude arrest. Police estimate the group has less than a few dozen members.
November 17 has claimed responsibility for 22 killings including those of four U.S. officials. A .45-caliber pistol was last used in June 2000 to kill British military attache Brig. Stephen Saunders.
The first suspected group member ever arrested, a religious icon painter injured June 29 in a failed bombing attempt, remained hospitalized and was being interrogated by authorities. Savas Xiros, 40, was injured severely when the bomb he reportedly was carrying exploded in the busy tourist port of Piraeus.
During yesterday's raid in a residential district, police found a large number of rockets identical to those used in past November 17 attacks, as well as hand grenades and bomb-making material, spokesman Lefteris Ekonomou said.
The rockets and weapons were of the same type as those found in the first raid. American and British forensic experts were said to be assisting Greek police.
A senior police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the apartment as "an ammunition storehouse for November 17."
Authorities believe they now have found nearly all the about 100 rockets stolen from the army in the late 1980s. November 17 used more than two dozen of them in strikes against targets including the U.S. Embassy and the German ambassador's residence, and in a botched attack on a British aircraft carrier, police said.
It is not clear, however, if the group acquired other heavy weapons. Police always believed it equipped itself mainly through raids on army depots and a police station in the late 1980s.
Now, nearly all those arms have been accounted for.
What remains missing is the .45-caliber pistol the group has used as a trademark weapon since 1975, when it was used in the killing of CIA station chief in Athens, Richard Welch.
A team of British police officers has been stationed in Athens since the June assassination of Brig. Saunders, while FBI and CIA agents have helped the investigation for decades.
Authorities were researching the icon painter, Mr. Xiros, for possible links with Sudan, which has been accused of harboring terrorists.


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