In a joint effort between the Brazilian and United States authorities, four suspects alleged to be members of a neo-Nazi gang have been arrested in Brazil.
The individuals had reportedly planned to carry out a series of targeted attacks on Jewish and black residents in São Paulo over New Year’s Eve, but after being warned of the plans back in May by Brazil-based Homeland Security Investigations agents, the authorities managed to intercept the attacks.
Homeland Security Investigations Brasilia Acting Attaché Patrick Chen said: “Through continued investigative collaboration, members of dangerous antisemitic and neo-Nazi cells were apprehended before they caused a possible mass casualty event. The success of Operation Bergónis a prime example of the importance of international partnerships in dismantling criminal organizations that threaten public safety and innocent lives.”
HSI Brasilia also said that the alleged neo-Nazi members used websites in the United States to “to call for violence against Jewish and black” residents in Brazil.
Authorities produced 31 search warrants which allowed them to discover and seize homemade bombs, weapons and documents containing attack plots and Nazi paraphernalia.
In a statement, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations said: “The individuals in question were part of neo-Nazi cell that were planning attacks against public areas, such as schools, as well as hate crimes against Jewish and black civilians.”
One of the suspects, a 43-year-old man who worked as security in the city of Campinas, told authorities of his plans to denote explosives during the New Year’s Eve celebration. The man was said to have recruited members to bomb a nuclear plant in the Rio de Janeiro municipality of Angra dos Reis.
The suspect reportedly identified himself as Matheus Hades NS and told the authorities in a recorded confession that “there is so much wrong in the world that I can’t take it anymore,” adding that he wanted to “kill and then commit suicide” but that he would spare anyone “as long as they are good, honest, hardworking people. With the rest, I don’t worry.”
The other three alleged members were arrested in the São Paulo city of Suzano and the Rio de Janeiro municipalities of Campos dos Goytacazes and Valença.
In October, a man in Brazil accused of Holocaust denial and pedophilia was reportedly found with a stash of Nazi memorabilia worth £2.5 million.
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