11 accused of trying to recruit minors for ISIS attacks in Brazil

A member of the Iraqi forces walks past a mural bearing the logo of the Islamic State group in a tunnel in the village of Albu Sayf, Mosul on March 1, 2017.
A member of the Iraqi forces walks past a mural bearing the logo of the Islamic State group in a tunnel in the village of Albu Sayf, Mosul on March 1, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Prosecutors announced charges on Thursday against 11 Brazilians who allegedly promoted the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group and tried to recruit minors to mount attacks in the Latin American country.

Between 2016 and 2017, "those charged were responsible for promotion of the Islamic State terrorist organisation in Brazil through publications on social media and by sharing materials via WhatsApp and Facebook, as well as recruiting minors to take part in terrorist acts on national soil," the prosecutor's office in Goias state said.

One of the accused used a chat group called "Caliphate of the Brazilian State" to suggest copying an attack carried out in London in March 2017 in which a British convert to Islam killed five people in a car and knife rampage near parliament.

The Brazilian attack, the accused said, should take place during carnival in Rio de Janeiro or in Salvador de Bahia.

Another of the accused used another chat group to claim being in contact with a further alleged plotter to discuss an attack using explosives.

Only one of the 11 has been arrested, a prosecutor's office source in Goias told AFP.

The investigation began after a tip-off from Spain's Guardia Civil police force about chat groups in Brazil discussing ISIS.

In May last year, eight people in Brazil were sentenced to prison for up to 15 years after being convicted of plotting terrorist attacks in the 2016 Rio Olympics. None of the supposed plots were ever carried out.