(NationRise.com) – Two individuals with reported ties to the Iran-backed and Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah have been arrested in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
According to the Brazilian Federal Police, the two individuals were plotting terrorist attacks on Israeli targets and Jewish community centers in Brazil. One of the two suspects was arrested by police when the suspect returned to the Guarulhos International Airport, located in Sao Paulo, from Lebanon, with information about how to carry out the attack. The two face more than 15 years in prison.
The Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, helped officials in Brazil stop the alleged plans to attack the community centers, according to the Israeli government. In a statement on Twitter, the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote that the “Hezbollah terrorist organization” was planning an attack that was “directed and financed by Iran.”
Police executed eleven search warrants in the states of Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, and the Federal District that were aimed at obtaining proof that Brazilians were being recruited to carry out extremist acts in Brazil, according to Brazil’s Federal Police. The statement said that both recruits as well as recruiters were being targeted.
On Twitter, the Brazilian Israelite Confederation thanked officials, adding that the “tragic conflicts in the Middle East” must not “be imported” into Brazil.
Hezbollah has engaged with Israeli forces near the Lebanon border, with both sides trading rocket fire since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas.
Brazil is known to have one of the most prominent Lebanese populations in the world.
This is not the first time the region has been targeted by the group. Hezbollah is believed to be responsible for the July 18, 1994, bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) headquarters in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people. No individual has been convicted. However, Argentine authorities have documented evidence tying Iran as well as Hezbollah to the bombing. In 1992, Iran and Hezbollah were also believed to be involved with a suicide bombing targeting the Israeli embassy in Argentina that left 29 dead.
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