Latest terror suspect arrested in Greece has family, bank job

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

ATHENS Greece continues to arrest suspected insurgents from the November 17 group which was responsible for the assassination of CIA station chief in Athens Richard Welch in 1975.

The latest arrest was reported last week when police captured a Greek national identified as a 40-year-old bank employee. The suspect is a cousin of another Greek charged with being a November 17 member.

November 17 blamed the CIA for helping the military junta in Greece maintain power from 1967 to 1974.

Anestis Papanastasiou was arrested on Thursday in the port city of Thessaloniki as he was leaving his home for his job, Middle East Newsline reported. He was questioned and flown to Athens aboard a police helicopter.

Officials said Papanastasiou is a cousin of suspected November 17 operative Nikos Papanastasiou, being held in Athens on charges of being linked to several attacks. The latest suspect has been described as married with one child who worked at his bank job since 1990.

Papanastasiou was arrested last week after police were said to have found his fingerprints in two November 17 safe houses in Athens. Officials said Papanastasiou is not believed to have directly participated in assassinations. November 17 has been accused of assassinating more than 20 people, most of them Westerners, since 1975.

In July, Nikos Papanastasiou, 50, was arrested in Athens and charged with complicity in the November 1983 assassination of U.S. Navy officer George Tsantes and his driver Nikos Veloutsos. Officials said Nikos is regarded as a leading member of November 17.

So far, 19 suspected November 17 insurgents have been arrested. Officials said more arrests are expected over the next week.

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