Two Pakistani nationals arrested in Greece for preparing a terrorist attack against a Jewish restaurant in Athens were identified by Greek media on Wednesday.
The Kathimerini newspaper identified the two as Haider, 27, and Hussein, 29, and published photos of the two.
Αυτοί είναι οι δύο Πακιστανοί που συνελήφθησαν από την ΕΥΠ (εικόνες)https://t.co/sC5CkdvTe1— Η ΚΑΘΗΜΕΡΙΝΗ (@Kathimerini_gr) March 29, 2023
The two were living illegally in Greece for the last five years, according to Kathimerini and worked in agriculture in Zakynthos and Laconia. In the past year, they moved to Athens and were living in a rented room in the Omonoia neighborhood.
The two were arrested a month ago for illegally entering the country. It is suspected they entered Greece through Orestiada, in northeastern Greece.
According to Kathimerini, the two are from Punjab, as is the leader of the cell who is living in Tehran.
Greek Police and Greece's National Intelligence Service announced on Tuesday that the cell was aimed "not only at the loss of innocent citizens but also at undermining the country's sense of security, simultaneously damaging its institutions and threatening its international relations."
The suspects were planning to expand their terrorist cell
The two were also looking for additional accomplices to help them carry out the attack, according to police. According to the Greek Ethnos newspaper, they had approached about 15 to 20 people in an attempt to recruit accomplices.
According to Ethnos, the two suspects were planning additional attacks and had taken photos of specific Jewish individuals in Greece in preparation for further attacks. They additionally wanted to link the cell with additional Iran-backed terrorist cells in other European countries.
Greek authorities began surveilling the two after Pakistani nationals in Cyprus were arrested in 2021 for planning an attack against an Israeli businessman and additional Pakistani nationals were arrested for planning an attack on an Israeli target in Istanbul.
The Prime Minister’s Office announced on Tuesday night that the Mossad helped catch the terror cell. The spy agency said that it had assisted Greece with analyzing and taking apart Iran’s operating procedures to solve the puzzle of the underlying crimes and method of operation of the terror organization involved.
Greece was included on a list of countries with travel warnings issued by the National Security Council ahead of Passover, a major Israeli vacation holiday.
According to the NSC report, the main generator of global terrorism, especially facing Israelis abroad, is Iran, with the report saying they expect the Islamic Republic to continue “working to promote damage to Israeli and Jewish targets around the world.”
Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.