Argentine police arrest suspected terrorist cell members over plot to target Jewish sites in Buenos Aires

The sites surround the Pan-American Maccabi Games which are being held in Argentina’s capital


Two of the suspects arrested by Argentina's Police (Photo: Argentina Police)

(JNS) Argentine police have arrested three men who allegedly planned to carry out terrorist attacks at Jewish sites surrounding the Pan-American Maccabi Games in Buenos Aires. 

The three men, two Syrian and one Lebanese, arrived separately in the country and were apprehended in Argentina’s capital and in the adjacent suburb of Avellaneda.

A suspicious package originating from Yemen and weighing about 77 pounds was set to be delivered to the lodging where one of the suspects was staying, local media reported.

One of the Syrians had Venezuelan and Colombian passports in his possession. 

Police are scouring the suspects’ cell phones on suspicion there may be additional operatives in their network, according to the media reports.

Buenos Aires is hosting the 15th edition of the Pan American Maccabi Games, with more than 4,000 Jewish athletes from 22 countries participating in the event.

Local police have been on heightened alert for the possibility of terrorist attacks.

It comes after Brazil announced an operation which led to the arrest of Hezbollah-affiliated terrorists plotting attacks on Jewish communities within the country. Targets included synagogues, community centres and kosher restaurants.

The Brazilian operation was conducted in collaboration with Mossad.

It also comes after the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires blamed on Hezbollah killed 85 people and wounded more than 300 others.

Last month, a US federal court indicted a Hezbollah leader who remains at large in Lebanon for assisting in the attack.

In June, an Argentine federal judge called on Interpol to arrest four Lebanese men believed to be connected to the bombing.

An earlier attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 also attributed to the Islamist terrorist group killed 29 people and wounded 242 others.

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