The Civil Police of the Federal District arrested three men suspected of being part of the alleged terrorist group Secret Society Silvestre that claimed to have placed a self-made explosive device (photo) near the Infant Jesus Sanctuary on Christmas Day, Tuesday 25th of December 2018. The group ran a darknet blog called the Secret Silvestre Society.
Video of the IED posted by an inside informant: https://L2s.Pet/XEhNSuJC
Federal Police and the Brazilian Research Agency investigated the group and confirmed the terroristic intentions. One of the culprits had triple nationality and traveled abroad often. Furthermore, on Monday 31st of December 2018, the police seized a PDF manual to making bombs in one of the home raids.
The case involving the alleged terrorist group began when a person passing in front of the Baby Jesus Sanctuary in Brazlândia found the presence of a backpack next to the church and alarmed the Military Police. The Anti-Bomb Group of the Special Operations Battalion was mobilized and safely detonated the bomb after evacuating the area around 4 PM.
According to BOPE, the bomb had considerable destructive power. The explosive device consisted of a fire extinguisher cylinder filled with gunpowder and nails, armed with an analogic watch detonator. The alleged extremist group claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing.
“We demand the abandonment of a 5kg explosive stuffed with nails and black powder in the Sanctuary of Jesus Christ,” said a text posted on the darkweb.
According to church official Jaime Francisco, a Church Mass was held in the temple on the day the IED would’ve blown up. As estimated by the sanctuary collaborator, about one thousand people participated in the religious ceremony.
“There was no one else here. It was after Mass and the place was closed. Someone saw the suitcase on the street and called the police,” Francisco said.
Investigators firstly reached the Ancestral Curse darknet website, where the alleged terrorist group, Secret Society Silvestre, made a series of threats to President Jair Bolsonaro and other targets, such as the future Minister for Women, Family and Rights Human Rights, Damares Alves, and the president of the National Confederation of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB), Cardinal Dom Sérgio da Rocha.
In sections of a text published on the darknet, the alleged criminal organization said:
“If the hit was not enough to kill Bolsonaro, he might have more surprises at some other time, since we are not the only ones wanting his head.”
On Friday 28th of December 2018, more information came from an informant who called himself “Pedro.” He forwarded vital information to the authorities via encrypted e-mails and even answered ten questions from the policemen. Pedro also sent a 3-minute video of him highlighting and focusing on the IED. Images took before the bomb planting.
Pedro stated that the Silvestre Secret Society has been responsible, since 2016, for at least six attacks in the national territory. Among them was the explosion of a pressure cooker loaded with gunpowder and nails in front of the Conjunto Nacional shopping mall on August the 1st 2016, in the middle of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
In the texts sent, the man disregarded the police forces:
“We learned later that they tried to get us, but their competence was low and we went unpunished and unmasked.”
On Sunday 30th of December 2018, the Minister of the Institutional Security Office, General Sérgio Etchegoyen, confirmed that the threats of attack against the president-elect were real and that security precautions were put in place for the inauguration ceremony on Tuesday 1st of January 2019 which went smooth and without incident.
According to the Federal Police, investigations are continuing to determine all the criminal implications of the group. They’re facing life in prison.