ATHENS — Five Greek men have been arrested by counter-terrorism police as part of a crackdown on far-right groups accused of attacking migrants and left-wing activists, Greek police said on Tuesday.
The five young suspects are accused of “participating in a criminal organization” and carrying out arson attacks and using explosives, officers said in a statement.
A police source had earlier reported six arrests in the Athens area and in the northwestern city of Ioannina.
During searches, investigators seized 50 kilograms of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be used as an explosive, knuckledusters and other weapons, and “books, pamphlets and symbols of the extreme-right.”
A police source said the suspects “belong to the neo-Nazi movement” in Greece.
According to Greek media, the five men are members of Combat 18-Hellas, a neo-Nazi and white supremacist group.
Combat 18 was a far-right group that began in Britain and later spread to other countries. The group’s name is based on Adolf Hitler’s initials — the first and eighth letters of the alphabet.
Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party, remains the fourth largest in the Greek parliament.
A total of 70 Golden Dawn lawmakers and party officials are on trial on a wide range of charges, including membership of a criminal organization linked to the fatal stabbing of an anti-fascist rapper in 2013.
Far-right attacks have increased in Greece in recent months against left-wing activists and migrants.
In February, five people were injured after a group of eight people attacked an anti-fascist center in the Greek port of Piraeus.
The center was also attacked last August, and four people were arrested by the counter-terrorism unit in January.