Brazil arrests former Hizbullah member ahead of Olympics

by WorldTribune Staff, August 1, 2016

Security agencies are taking action as the threat of terrorism continues to hang over South America’s first Olympic Games.

Brazilian police said on July 29 they arrested a Lebanese man who is a former member of Hizbullah.

The Rio Olympics are set to open on Aug. 5. /AP
The Rio Olympics are set to open on Aug. 5. /AP

Fadi Hassan Nabha, 42, was detained on July 28 at his home in Caieiras, a suburb of Sao Paulo. Nabha had served in Hizbullah’s special services and had weapons and explosives training, police said.

The arrest was made on orders from the justice ministry that has been seeking to expel him from the country.

“We have been looking for him since May because he was wanted for drug traffic, not terrorism,” police spokesman Augusto Roque told Reuters.

The Olympic Games will open in Rio on Aug. 5 with some 500,000 visitors expected to travel to Brazil. Authorities are on high alert following terrorist attacks in France and Germany in recent weeks.

Brazilian have stepped up arrests and say they are monitoring anyone with suspected of links to Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).

On July 21, Brazil arrested 10 people suspected of belonging to a group that supports ISIL and had been allegedly discussing terrorist acts during the Olympic Games. It has subsequently detained two more suspects in the case.