(JTA) — Police have arrested two people who authorities believe were planning a Friday-night attack on an Argentine synagogue.
The country’s federal judiciary was investigating a group called Goy Group Unleashed, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, when prosecutors found evidence on the messaging services Telegram and WhatsApp of the imminent Shabbat attack in the Tucuman province of northern Argentina.
Police ordered two raids on the capital city of the province, San Miguel de Tucuman, and in a smaller town called El Manantial. In addition to the two arrests, they found guns, knives, radio communications equipment and Nazi literature.
“That two of the group decided to take violent action against a Jewish community is a worrying step, as the threat in Latin America had, until now, come from the far left and Islamist/Iran,” Shimon Samuels, director for international relations of the Wiesenthal Center, said in a statement Monday.
Anti-Semitic incidents are rarely physical in Argentina – most are online or graffiti – but there were three violent ones in 2019. The number of total antisemitic incidents rose by 107% in 2018 over the previous year, according to a report by the DAIA Jewish umbrella group.
The head of DAIA has been under police protection since February, when he received antisemitic threats.