Brazil attack foiled as two men with Hezbollah ties are arrested
Brazil terrorist attack foiled as two men with links to Hezbollah are arrested for plotting to attack Israeli embassy and Jewish sites
- Two Brazilian men with links to Hezbollah were arrested in São Paulo, Brazil on Tuesday and Wednesday
- The suspects, whose names are being withheld, were allegedly plotting to carry out attacks against Israel’s embassy and building in the Jewish community
- The Interpol is also seeking in Lebanon two Brazilian suspects who also hold Lebanese citizenship
Brazilian authorities have arrested two men who were allegedly plotting to carry out attacks against the Israeli embassy and other buildings in the Jewish community.
The apprehensions took place in the southeastern state of São Paulo, the Federal Police said in a statement Wednesday.
An official with knowledge of the information of the plot spoke with The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity and said that the suspects were recruited and financially backed by the Lebanese-based militia Hezbollah.
The Federal Police withheld the names of both suspects and did not offer any details about them.
Interpol was also alerted about arrest warrants for two other individuals in Lebanon who hold dual Lebanese-Brazilian citizenship.
However, they can’t be arrested in Lebanon through a Brazilian court order. The Brazilian warrant could only be enforced if they were to leave the country for another or if they return to Brazil.
The law enforcement agency carried out 11 search warrants in Sao Paulo and nearby states of Minas Gerais and Brasilia that were aimed at obtaining proof of possible recruitment of Brazilians for carrying out extremist acts in the country, adding that it was targeting both recruits and recruiters.
Brazil’s Federal Police announced Wednesday it had foiled a plot by two Brazilian men to unleash attacks in Brazil against Jewish targets. Law enforcement sources told news outlets that the suspects were backed by Hezbollah
Brazilian media reported that several Brazilian nationals have traveled to Lebanon to meet with the leadership of militia group Hezbollah. The faction, led by leader Hassan Nasrallah (pictured) reportedly went over targets Jewish targets in the South American nation
Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported that one of the suspects was arrested at Guarulhos International Airport in São Paulo after arriving from Lebanon. Authorities believe that he already had information about going forward with the attacks.
Online news outlet G1 reported the airport apprehension took place Tuesday night. The second arrest was made Wednesday when the man arrived at the airport from nearby state of Santa Catarina.
Both suspects were placed in pre-trial detention for 30 days.
‘Recruiters and recruits must respond for the crimes of forming or joining a terrorist organization and carrying out preparatory acts of terrorism, whose maximum penalties, if added together, reach 15 years and 6 months in prison,’ the Federal Police said in a statement.
One hundred and twenty shrouds were placed by members of non-governmental organization, Rio da Paz, on the beach November 3 to honor Palestinian children killed in the ongoing Israel-Hamas Gaza conflict
People hold a demonstration in support of Palestinian people, organized by the Committee of solidarity with the Palestinian people in front of the United States embassy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on October 31
The Federal Police’s anti-terrorism unit found that Brazilians, including some with criminal backgrounds, were being courted and hired by Hezbollah leaders in Lebanon to execute attacks on Brazilian soil.
Some Brazilians had traveled to Beirut for meetings with the group to go over targets and the possible recruitment of more people.
Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, thanked Brazilian security services for their role in helping to thwart the attack.
‘The Brazilian security services, together with the Mossad and … additional international security and enforcement agencies, have foiled a terrorist attack in Brazil, which had been planned by the Hezbollah terrorist organization, directed and financed by the Iranian regime,’ it said.
The apprehensions comes amid rising global security concerns in the wake of the October 7 attack by Hamas on southern Israel left 1,400 people dead and 240 others kidnapped.
The Israel military responded with airstrikes of the Gaza Strip that have killed more than 10,000 people, according to health authorities in the area that is controlled by Hamas.
At least 34 Brazilian nationals and 10 Palestinians related to them are in Gaza waiting to be evacuated and allowed to cross the Gaza border into Egypt for their return to Brazil.
Israel’s ambassador to Brazil, Daniel Zonshine, said the group has not left because of restrictions set by Hamas.
“Despite recent statements, Hamas is the only factor delaying the exit of Brazilians from Gaza due to its own interests,” said Zonshine, as quoted by Brazilian online news outlet R7. “We are in total war against a terrorist organization, which repeatedly spreads disinformation to continue creating terror.”
Israeli soldiers walk through rubble, amid the ongoing ground invasion against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday
Gaza residents inspect the Khaled bin Al-Walid Mosque, which was destroyed by Israeli raids on Wednesday
Family and friends attend Wednesday’s funeral of fallen Israeli soldier, Ya’akov Ozeri, who was killed near Mount Meron in Meron, Israel
Brazilian Jewish leaders told Reuters that they had noticed a rise in antisemitic discourse online since the conflict began.
Hezbollah was set up by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in 1982 to fight Israeli forces that had invaded Lebanon.
The group, led by Hassan Nasrallah, holds seats in parliament and government and acts as Iran’s spearhead in Lebanon and the region.
It entered the conflict since last month’s attack and has been engaging Israeli forces along the border, in the deadliest escalation since it fought a war with Israel in 2006.
Hezbollah is designated a terrorist organization by Argentina, Britain, Canada, Germany, Honduras and the United States, as well as most U.S.-allied Gulf states.
In 2019, Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he planned to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization as well, but the move never took place.
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