Terrorism in Brazil

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Terrorism in Brazil has occurred since at least the 1940s.

Terror organizations

Shindo Renmei

The Shindo Renmei were a Japanese-Brazilian terror organization whose attacks were focused on resistance to the Japanese surrender at the end of World War Two; attacks were perpetrated against other Japanese-Brazilians.[1]

Islamic terror groups

According to the Brazilian Federal Police, at least seven Islamic terror groups operate in Brazil:

These groups operate inside the national territory and most are also known to operate on the border of Paraguay and Argentina with Brazil.[2]

Under the Brazilian military government

During the Brazilian military government from 1964 to 1985, terrorism was a term frequently used by the state. All forms of opposition to the military regime were considered forms of terrorism; opposition members were deemed "terrorists."[2]

An incident of right-wing terrorism known as the Riocentro 1981 May Day Attack occurred in 1981, perpetrated by a sector of the military dissatisfied with the democratic opening of the regime.


On 21 July 2016, two weeks before the scheduled start of the Olympic Games, Brazilian Federal Police busted an Islamic jihadist terrorist ring plotting to wreak havoc in a manner similar to the 1972 Munich massacre. 10 people suspected to be allied with ISIS were arrested and two more are on the run. Additionally the terror group has been aggressively encouraging lone wolf attacks to target athletes from the UK, US, France suggesting the use of poisons or explosives attached to drones.[3]

On 2 May 2017, Palestinian migrants threw a homemade bomb at far-right protesters, leaving several injured in São Paulo.[4]

On 6 September 2018, the far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed during a political campaign in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais.[5]

On 13 March 2019, two former students opened fire at a Brazilian school on Wednesday in Suzano, São Paulo. The pair killed at least five teenagers as well as two school officials before committing suicide in an attack that police said was inspired by the 1999 Columbine massacre in the United States.[6]

Responses and counterterrorism efforts

The Brazil government has four pieces of terrorism legislation pending in Congress:[7]

  • Visa denials – in 2011, legislation was introduced to deny visas to persons and/or expel foreigners convicted or accused of a terrorist act in another country;
  • Terrorism during the World Cup – in 2011, legislation was introduced that deals with specific crimes, including terrorism, during and preceding the World Cup;
  • Penal code update – legislation in 2012 sought to update the Brazilian penal code to include sentencing guidelines for terrorism crimes;
  • Terrorism definitions – legislation in 2013 sought to define terrorism under the Brazilian Constitution.


There is a large concentration of Middle Eastern immigrants in the area near the Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil border. Some authorities monitoring the area have stated that Brazil should participate more in the international fight against terrorism.[2]

See also


  1. ^ LESSER, Jeffrey. "Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil". Durham: Duke University Press, 1999. Portuguese edition: Negociando a Identidade Nacional: Imigrantes, Minorias e a Luta pela Etnicidade no Brasil (São Paulo: Editora UNESP, 2001.
  2. ^ a b c "Terrorism in Brazil." The Brazil Business. Accessed January 30, 2015.
  3. ^ "Brazil police smash ISIS ring". Daily Mail.
  4. ^ "Palestinian migrants threw a bomb at anti-migration law protesters in São Paulo". Folha de S.Paulo.
  5. ^ "Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed during political campaign". VEJA.
  6. ^ "Impeded by Columbine, Brazil pair kill eight and themselves in school shooting". Reuters.
  7. ^ "Chapter 2: Country Reports, Western Hemisphere Review." US State Department. Accessed January 30, 2015.
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