anti-israel nazi 88.
(photo credit: AP)
Police disrupted an alleged neo-Nazi plot to bomb at least two synagogues in southern Brazil and are looking into whether the group has international ties, officials said Thursday.
Police seized Nazi literature, knives and three homemade explosive devices earlier this week they said were to have been set off at least two synagogues in the city of Porto Alegre, according to police Inspector Paulo Cesar Jardim.
"I have no doubt that we have aborted a major tragedy," he said.
Fourteen unnamed men were detained but released pending an investigation. They had no links to four men arrested Wednesday in a plot to bomb two New York synagogues, Jardim added.
Police have been investigating the Brazilian group, which calls itself "Neuland," since it was formed by Brazilians and unspecified foreigners in 2002, Jardim said.
It was composed of at least 50 "extremely intelligent, well-organized and very dangerous criminals who prey on Jews and gays in the name of racial purity," he added.
Officials are exploring possible ties between the group and other Neo-Nazi organizations in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Great Britain and France, he said.
None of the seven synagogues in Porto Alegre, home to a Jewish community of 13,000, took any extra security measures on news of the plot, said Henry Chmelnitsky, president of the statewide Rio Grande do Sul Jewish Federation.
"We can't ignore these groups, and we must always be alert, but we cannot, and will not, panic," he said.