"A mosque? Here? Between two Greek navy bases?"

Giannis Ioannidis is a retired businessman leading a 30-strong group of men in military-style clothing who have taken over a downtown Athens premises earmarked as the site for Greece's first official new mosque in a century.

Now the 74-year-old's makeshift group of self-described "patriots" has plans to turn it into a homeless shelter -- for Greek people only.

"The mosque will be full of terrorists and it would be located in a former navy base. This is unthinkable," Ioannidis told Anadolu Agency, claiming "illegal migrants even use the children they bring with them for sympathy or worse".

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