The ten Brazilian nationals arrested Thursday (Jul. 21), suspected of being linked to Islamic State, are 20 to 40 years old, reported Federal Judge Marcos Josegrei da Silva, tasked with the case.
“We've got a group of people who praise terrorists. I've learned about people who show this kind of behavior and act in groups. That is enough to justify their temporary imprisonment,” he pointed out, adding, however, that the evidence collected so far still does not confirm that the group was planning to carry out a terrorist attack in the country.
“What's being stated is that, taking what we have into view, that was the best measure to bring the investigation to a conclusion. Now, I don't have enough information to say it was a group that was about to carry out a terrorist attack. The police authorities will sort that out, with whatever they manage to get through search and seizure orders,” he added.
A total 12 temporary detention warrants were issued with a 30-day term, which may be extended to another 30. Thus far, Operation Hashtag, launched by the Federal Police, has taken ten people across the country to jail.
“What I cansay is that they're middle-aged people. They're different ages, but they're still young, not much older than that, maybe 20 to 40 years old,” Josegrei said. According to the judge, their preventive detention is justified as it makes it less likely for those under scrutiny to commit any criminal act over the course of the investigation.
According to Josegrei, none among the investigated is Arabic, even though they were using Arabic pseudonyms to communicate on social media. “It's not their Christian names. They adopted those names to better identify themselves as a terrorist group.”
The judge dismissed the idea that one of the arrested Brazilians is a leader, and said that the group is being investigated for actions carried out after March 19, when the Anti-terrorism Law was brought into effect. According to investigators, the group used the internet as its main means of communication.
“[We're talking about] statements on the internet and social media. They're statements made online. The arrests and searches are ways to get evidence and learn more about the whole thing,” the judge argued.
*Yara Aquino contributed to this article.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Agência Brasil.