Brazilian authorities foil Hezbollah terror plot to attack Jews in its country, Israel says


Brazilian authorities, working with Israeli intelligence, foiled a plot by Hezbollah to orchestrate attacks on Jews in the South American country, officials said Wednesday. 

Brazil’s Federal Police arrested two people suspected of being financed by the Lebanon-based and Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group to commit domestic attacks and to recruit Brazilian citizens, Reuters reported.

“The Federal Police is carrying out an investigation based on the hypothesis of a terrorist network that was trying to install itself in Brazil,” Justice Minister Flavio Dino said at an event in Rio de Janeiro.

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A boy waves the Hezbollah party flag during a rally prior to a speech by the leader of the party in Beirut’s southern suburb Friday. The terror group plotted to attack Jews in Brazil, authorities said Wednesday.  (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images)

The two suspects were taken into police custody in Sao Paulo, but have not been identified. One was apprehended at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport after having just landed from Lebanon, the Times of Israel reported. 

The intended targets reportedly included synagogues. 

“We’re following with apprehension and concern this Federal Police operation today. Brazil doesn’t have a history of terrorism and we hope that the conflict in the Middle East isn’t imported over to here,” said Ricardo Berkiensztat, executive president of the Jewish Federation of the State of Sao Paulo.

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The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hezbollah and Iran “continue to operate around the world to carry out attacks against Israeli, Jewish and Western targets.” 

“The Mossad (intelligence agency) operates and will continue to operate and thwart these attempts with a variety of methods wherever necessary,” his office said. 

Since the Oct. 7 attack on Israeli communities by Hamas, Hezbollah has engaged Israeli forces near the Lebanon border as both sides continue to trade rocket fire. 

People holds images of those killed in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina

People hold images of the victims of the 1994 bombing attack on the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) community center, marking the 25th anniversary of the attack, in Buenos Aires.  (Reuters/File)

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Hezbollah has long been suspected of targeting Jews abroad, including the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. The group is also responsible for killing 241 U.S. service members, most of them Marines, in the 1983 bombing of a military barracks at the Beirut International Airport. 



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