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See in 8 points what is known about the arrest of Brazilians linked to Hezbollah

Two people suspected of links to the radical Islamic group Hezbollah in Brazil were arrested by the Federal Police (PF) this Wednesday (8).

A CNN Here are some points to understand the operation.

Video: Brazilians linked to Hezbollah were preparing attacks in Brazil, says PF

What is Hezbollah?

Hezbollah is an Islamic fundamentalist (Shia) political and paramilitary organization with one of the most powerful paramilitary forces in the Middle East.

The group has its main base on the border between Lebanon and Israel and could become an unpredictable threat during Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Since the start of the conflict, Israel and Hezbollah have exchanged smaller attacks.

The group’s advanced weaponry and support from Iran makes Hezbollah a greater threat than other radical groups such as Hamas.

In which states did the arrests take place?

In Minas Gerais, seven search and seizure warrants were executed; in the Federal District, three; and, in São Paulo, one for search and two for temporary arrest.

One of the prisoners from São Paulo was detained upon disembarking from a trip to Lebanon. The PF believes that he arrived with information to pass on to his partner and carry out the attacks.

What did the suspects plan to do?

According to the investigation, the suspects were preparing acts of terrorism in the country, focusing on attacks on Jewish community buildings.

What is the objective of the operation?

The Federal Police explained that the objective of this operation, called “Trapiche”, is also to obtain evidence of possible recruitment of Brazilians to carry out extremist acts.

For what crimes can those investigated be held accountable?

By law, recruiters and recruits must be held accountable for the crimes of forming or joining terrorist organizations and carrying out preparatory acts of terrorism, the maximum penalties for which, if added together, reach 15 years and 6 months in prison.

The crimes provided for in the Terrorism Law are equated with heinous crimes, considered non-bailable, ineligible for grace, amnesty or pardon, and the sentence for these crimes is initially carried out under a closed regime, regardless of whether the conviction becomes final.

Was there Israeli collaboration in the case?

Israel’s spy agency Mossad worked with Brazilian security services and other international agencies to thwart an attack on Jews in Brazil planned by the Iran-backed radical Islamic group Hezbollah, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said.

“The Brazilian security services, together with the Mossad and additional international security and law enforcement agencies, thwarted a terrorist attack in Brazil, which had been planned by the terrorist organization Hezbollah, directed and financed by the Iranian regime,” the office of Netanyahu.

Did Israel know about Hezbollah’s presence in Brazil?

Israel’s ambassador to Brazil, Daniel Zonshine, told CNN known for some time about the presence of Hezbollah members in Brazil.

“We have known for a while that Hezbollah has people here in the northern area, closer to Venezuela, and in the Triple Border in Foz do Iguaçu. We’ve been hearing for a long time that there’s a presence there,” Zonshine said.

Zonshine, however, declared that he did not know that there was “activity” by the terrorist group in Brazil.

“But we didn’t know they were active here. [Estar presente no Brasil] It’s different from planning attacks on Jews.”

Are there suspects in other countries?

Interpol is looking for two Brazilians in Lebanon suspected of planning attacks on important buildings belonging to the Jewish community in Brazil.

The Federal Police conducted searches in Lebanon for the two targets, but did not find them and, therefore, they were included in the international police red notice.

Brazilians can be arrested in any country that is part of the Interpol network.


* Published by Douglas Porto

Source: CNN Brasil

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