By Anav Silverman
The prominent Brazilian newspaper, O Globo reported that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group has links with Brazil’s largest criminal gang, Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC, First Capital Command).
According to the O Globo report on November 9, the Brazilian government has tried to minimize the issue of Hezbollah activity in the region. But in the past eight years, Brazilian intelligence services “have gathered a lot of evidence that traffickers linked to the Lebanese Hezbollah, the ‘Party of God, ‘ ventured a Brazilian association with criminals, ” according to the report.
The news report also states that Brazil’s Federal Police have indicated that Hezbollah groups are linked with criminal organizations that operate in Brazilian prisons, mainly in São Paulo. Police documents reveal that Hezbollah has been providing the Brazilian gang with weapons while also acting as intermediaries in the sale of explosives that the PCC stole from Parguay. In exchange, the PCC offers protection in Brazil’s prisons for inmates of Lebanese origin.
Reports of Hezbollah building a Western base in South America’s Tri-border area – the region divided by the borders of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil – have surfaced years ago. In 2007, NBC News and Telemundo uncovered details of an extensive smuggling network run by Hezbollah, through which large sums of money were funneled to terrorist leaders in the Middle East and for training camps. The Tri-border has been described by US officials as the most important base for Hezbollah to finance its operations outside of Lebanon itself.
Founded in 1982, Hezbollah, a radical Shiite Muslim group, is considered to be one of the most active terrorist organizations in the world with a global terror network that has killed hundreds of innocent civilians through plane hijackings, suicide bombings, assassinations, weapons smuggling and rocket fire. It is the first organization in modern history that has perpetrated a suicide bombing attack.
In 1994, a Hezbollah suicide bomber, directed by the Iranian regime, detonated a car in front of the Jewish Community Center in the commercial area of Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and wounding 300. Hezbollah is also responsible for the assassination of American academic Malcolm Kerr in 1984, the assassination of French military attaché in Lebanon, Col. Christian Gouttiere in 1986, and an international court found evidence of Hezbollah’s role in the assassination in 2005 of Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri.
Last month, Hezbollah operative, Mohammed Amdar, a Lebanese citizen, was apprehended in Peru on October 28 thanks to a tip by Israeli intellgience for suspicion of planning attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets. Officials discovered TNT, explosives and flammable substances in the Lima apartment of Amdar, who had been gathering information on Jewish institutions and places where Israelis frequently hike in Peru.
Hezbollah forces also planted two bombs on the Israeli side of the Lebanese border in the Har Dov region of the Golan Heights on October 7, wounding two IDF soldiers who were bomb-disposal experts from the Combat Engineering Corps.