The Brazilian Federal Police conducted a significant counter-terrorism operation, targeting groups poised to launch terrorist attacks against Jewish community sites in Brazil.
The operation, reported on Wednesday, involved the execution of arrest warrants and searches at multiple locations in the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo, as well as the federal district of Brasília.
The suspects are allegedly linked to Hezbollah and have been accused of recruiting Brazilians for terrorist activities. The Federal Police have warned of heavy legal consequences for those involved in such organizations.
The investigation unveiled connections to the 2014 Federal Police inquiry that found ties between Hezbollah and the PCC cartel, pointing to weapon trades and protection agreements for Lebanese inmates in Brazil.
According to reports, one of the individuals was arrested while entering Brazil from Lebanon through São Paulo's Guarulhos airport, reportedly arriving with plans to execute the attacks. This operation underscores Brazil's strong stance against terrorism, reinforced by stringent anti-terrorism laws established before the 2016 Rio Olympics, designed to combat xenophobia, racial, ethnic, and religious discrimination.
The urgency of this operation is amplified by a reported sharp increase in antisemitic incidents in Brazilian schools, up by 760 percent over three years, raising alarms within the Jewish community. The World Jewish Congress states that Brazil hosts the world's 10th-largest Jewish community, and the second-largest in Latin America, with around 92,000 Jews in the country.