TSG Report Cited by Associated Press: Harsh Sentences for ISIS Sympathizers in Brazil Test New Law
May 22, 2017

Harsh Sentences for ISIS Sympathizers in Brazil Test New Law

Associated Press
By: Lucas Iberico Lozada, Mauricio Savarese & Peter Prengaman


After months of trading messages on social media praising violence by the Islamic State militant group, Leonid El Kadre de Melo said it was time to act.

“I want to be clear,” he wrote in a message recovered by Brazilian authorities on the eve of the Rio 2016 Olympics. “My intention is to put together a real and concrete group” to launch attacks.

While de Melo’s defenders portray that message as a bit of social media bravado, it alarmed Brazilian officials worried that the global Games could prove a target for terrorists. De Melo and 12 other men were detained in July during a high-profile sweep under a new law that greatly widened the scope of what could be considered terrorism in Latin America’s largest nation …

Many Brazilians saw little need for such a law: The country of 200 million people has seen little open friction involving its 1.5 million Muslim citizens. In recent decades, intelligence agencies have expressed concerns about possible terrorism activity in Brazil’s triple border area with Paraguay and Argentina, but residents there wave aside the concerns, saying the region is simply a melting pot of cultures.

The country accounted for only three of the tens of thousands of foreign fighters for the Islamic State group counted in a 2015 study by The Soufan Group, a private intelligence firm …


Download The Soufan Group’s updated report on Foreign Fighters here.


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