Overview: Brazil and the United States maintained strong counterterrorism cooperation in 2021, building on collaborative efforts under way since the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Brazilian Federal Police (PF), Brazil’s lead CT agency, worked closely with the United States and other nations’ law enforcement entities to assess and mitigate potential terrorist threats. The Brazilian government continued to support CT activities, which included third-country technical assistance for controlling sensitive technologies and investigating fraudulent travel documents.
2021 Terrorist Incidents: There were no terrorist incidents reported in Brazil in 2021.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: There were no major changes to CT legislation in 2021. The president proposed new CT legislation, which is still under consideration in Congress but likely does not have the votes for passage in the Senate. Under current laws, the PF opened 12 terrorism investigations in 2021. There have been 63 inquiries and 11 convictions in the five years the law has existed. On December 2, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated a Brazil-based network of al-Qa’ida-affiliated individuals and their companies for providing support to al-Qa’ida. Among those designated was Haytham Ahmad Shukri Ahmad Al-Maghrabi, who was one of the first identified individuals linked to this al-Qa’ida network in Brazil. This action will freeze assets and accounts in the United States for all the named individuals.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Brazil is a member of FATF and the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America. Brazil’s FIU, the Council for Financial Activities Control, is a member of the Egmont Group. The CT Bureau began funding the Countering Financing of Terrorism Project in 2021, implemented by the American Bar Association. This program will build the capacity of governments and financial sector stakeholders in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay to degrade and disrupt the financing of Hizballah and other terrorist groups, thus limiting their ability to plan and carry out attacks in the TBA region and globally.
Countering Violent Extremism: In 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) worked closely with the PF and frequently shared information on violent extremist activity on the internet. As a direct result of HSI information, on December 21 the PF arrested members of a neo-Nazi cell that had allegedly been planning mass-casualty attacks in Brazil. The PF uncovered weapons, including pipe bombs, during the raid.
International and Regional Cooperation: Brazil participated in regional CT fora, including the Organization of American States Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism; the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa Joint Working Group on CT; and the Southern Common Market’s working group on terrorism and sub-working group on financial issues. Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay coordinated law enforcement efforts in the TBA by means of their Trilateral TBA Command. Brazil is a member of the Regional Security Mechanism.