Greek police say fresh anarchist attacks pre-empted

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Greek police said Saturday they had pre-empted plans by five suspected militants, including a German woman, to stage attacks ahead of next week's trial of suspected anarchist bombers.

German federal prosecutors denied reports that the woman, 27-year-old Marie Fee Meyer, is the daughter of Barbara Meyer, wanted for years by German police in connection to the Baader-Meinhof or Red Army Faction, a violent leftwing group.

"From what we know at the moment, the young woman who was arrested is not the daughter of former RAF terrorist Barbara Meyer," a spokesman for the German federal prosecutor's office told AFP.

The five activists were caught in Athens on Friday and charged with membership in an extremist organisation and illegal arms possession.

During a raid of their apartment following their arrest, authorities discovered a "draft plan" to attack justice officials, a police press release said Saturday.

"It seems that a new organisation will claim responsibility for a series of explosions...perpetrated to show solidarity before the trial of members of terrorist group Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei," it said.

Thirteen suspected members of the Greek radical anarchist group that has staged bomb attacks against state buildings and foreign embassies are expected to stand trial Monday.

Police said they found a "list of magistrates, addresses of police stations, with plans and photographs of weapons" during the raid on the apartment and also seized an AK-47 assault rifle, a pistol and ammunition.

The German woman has denied involvement with the group and requested a lawyer, who said that she was only friends with one of the suspects.

The four Greek men aged 21 to 23, had been wanted in connection to an arson attack against a public electricity company building in Thessaloniki in October in which a company truck was damaged.

Seen as the latest generation in a three-decade run of far-left extremism in Greece -- legacy of a brutal military dictatorship -- Conspiracy became prominent in 2008 with a series of attacks against the homes and offices of politicians.

Domestic extremism in Greece, mainly associated with the far-left and radical anarchists, has left some 30 people dead in the past three decades including a CIA station chief, a British military attache, police officers, journalists and businessmen.

But social malaise stemming from decades of political corruption and soaring youth unemployment soon gave rise to new urban militancy.

And extremist hits against police and business targets intensified after police fatally shot a teenager in December 2008, unleashing a wave of youth protests and violence which emboldened radical groups according to analysts.

© 2011 AFP

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