Report: Files show Hezbollah targeted Israeli diplomats in Brazil

Newly declassified documents reveal that Hezbollah planned to kidnap Israeli diplomats from multiple Brazilian cities in 1989, according to Brazilian media.

By JTA
February 6, 2017 10:58
2 minute read.
A Hezbollah member carries his weapon on top of a building in Bekaa Valley

A Hezbollah member carries his weapon on top of a building in Bekaa Valley. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

RIO DE JANEIRO - The terrorist group Hezbollah sent operatives to Brazil in order to commit attacks on diplomatic representatives of Israel, according to previously classified documents.

Latin America’s largest nation was targeted by the Lebanese terrorist group at least twice, most recently in 1989, reported the Correio Braziliense newspaper on Saturday. Hezbollah operatives planned to kidnap Israeli diplomats in both the capital city of Brasilia and in Sao Paulo. The information had been restricted to the military and top-level officials in Brazil and Israel until last month, and has now been made public.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


In 1976, an alert was sent by the Israeli government to all its diplomatic missions and Brazil’s armed forces beefed up security at the Israeli Embassy.

In 1989, there is a comprehensive and detailed report, including names and photographs of suspects and original telegrams exchanged between Israel and Brazil. In the midst of the investigation, Brazilian federal police officers found that one of the alleged terrorists was in the country.

A telegram sent by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to security forces on Aug. 16, 1989, warns that a Hezbollah terrorist is “on the way to entering the country to commit an attempt against that diplomatic mission and its members.” In the same message, the ministry warns about the presence of “another terrorist” on Brazilian soil, according to the newspaper.

Faced with such a scenario, the ministry calls for “urgent” reinforcement of security around the Israeli Embassy and the residences of the ambassador and four Israeli diplomats.

One month later, a new alert is seen bearing the names of four terrorists appointed by Israel as the executors of Hezbollah’s plan in Brasilia. According to Israel, the group intended to kidnap the country’s consul-general in Sao Paulo or any diplomat who lived in Brasilia, with an eye to negotiating for the release of Hezbollah prisoners in Israel.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


The hunt for suspects and the security scheme surrounding the Israeli embassy and its senior officials lasted one more month, when the Israeli intelligence service discovered that the four alleged terrorists had left Brazil for an unknown destination.

“This is an old story that sits in the past. However, we always need to be alert since Hezbollah has dormant cells in Latin America, there are large Shiite Muslim communities and there is the recent arrival of Syrian refugees. Today, we don’t send alerts, there is no need to panic, but we are always vigilant for Israeli missions are a continuous target,” the Israeli consul in Sao Paulo, Dori Goren, told JTA.

In preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games last year, the head of Rio’s Jewish federation was very guarded.
“There is always a first time, it has happened twice in Argentina and Brazil is not free of it,” Paulo Maltztold JTA, citing the Buenos Aires bombings of the Israeli Embassy in 1992 and the AMIA Jewish center in 1994. “We’ll be on total alert,” added Maltz, who ended his term in December.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is seen in Jerusalem District Court
September 22, 2018
Report: Former PM Olmert met with PA President Abbas in Paris

By HAGAY HACOHEN