Brazil charges 11 people with trying to set up Islamic State cell

Police officers patrol at Santa Marta slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 11, 2015. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

BRASILIA: Brazilian prosecutors have charged 11 people with planning to establish an Islamic State cell in Brazil and trying to recruit jihadists to send to Syria, the federal prosecutors office in the state of Goias said on Thursday.

Two Brazilians are being held in a maximum security prison and five others, arrested since October, were freed pending trial.

Federal police tracked the alleged Islamic State militants through their social media messages after Spanish police provided telephone numbers found on a Brazilian arrested in Spain for belonging to a jihadist group, newspaper Estado de S.Paulo reported.