RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A Brazilian judge on Monday accepted the indictment of eight men accused of plotting militant attacks inspired by Islamic State against foreigners at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro as well as against homosexuals, Shi‘ite Muslims and Jews.
Judge Marcos Josegrei da Silva of the Federal Court in Curitiba, Brazil, said police and prosecutors had presented sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. It is Brazil’s first prosecution under a new terrorism law enacted earlier this year.
The accused were also charged with racketeering. All but one were also charged with corrupting minors.
The eight are part of a group of 10 who were arrested in July, only weeks before the Olympics began, as part of the Brazilian Federal Police’s Operation Hashtag. An 11th suspect turned himself in shortly after the arrests.
Prosecutors and police said the men communicated with each other over internet applications such as Telegram and spoke about training, procuring weapons and making attacks.
At the time of their arrest, authorities said only two of the men, all Brazilians between the ages of 20 and 40, had actually met each other, when they went to learn Arabic in Egypt in 2012 after converting to Islam.
They are being held at a maximum security in Brazil’s Southern Region.
The accused are Oziris Moris Lundi dos Santos Azevedo, Luis Gustavo de Oliveira, Levi Ribeiro Fernandes de Jesus, Leonid El Kadre de Melo, Israel Pedra Mesquita, Hortencio Yoshitake, Fernando Pinheiro Cabral and Alisson Luan de Oliveira.
(The case is: Penal Action No. 5046863-67.2016.4.04.7000/PR)
Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Peter Cooney