BUENOS AIRES — A Jewish sports club in Argentina was the victim of a threat that included the Islamic State logo.
A threatening note with the logo was attached to a plastic bottle filled with cement that was thrown through a window of the Maccabi Jewish Community Center and sports club in Santa Fe City, the capital of the Santa Fe province.
The note read “This is a warning, the next one will explode” and “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic.
“This is the first time the ISIS flag has been used in an attack in Argentina,” Ariel Gelblum, a representative of the Wiesenthal Center in Latin America, told JTA. “The influence of ISIS is growing in Latin America and this could be a consequence of the spread of ISIS hate messages.”
The National Institute Against Discrimination expressed “deep concern” about the attack “written in Spanish and in Arabic with a motto used by fundamentalist groups,” according to a statement issue by its Santa Fe office.
The Santa Fe representative of the Argentine Jewish political umbrella DAIA, Horacio Roitman, met with police and security authorities to strengthen surveillance of the institution and to put in place preventive measures. Roitman denounced the attack in interviews with local and national media.
The JCC said on social media that its activities will continue as usual. Maccabi is celebrating this month its 60th year, as well as the 30th year of its headquarters in Santa Fe City.
Argentina was hit by deadly bombings in Buenos Aires of the Israeli Embassy in 1992 and the AMIA Jewish centre in 1994. Iran, through the Hezbollah terrorist group, has been accused of plotting the attacks, though no one has been brought to justice.
The late special prosecutor Alberto Nisman charged that the Argentine government was involved in covering up Iran’s role in the AMIA bombing. He was found shot to death in January 2015 in his Buenos Aires apartment; the official cause of death has yet to be determined.
In March, the murder of a Jewish businessman in Uruguay by a gunman who yelled “Allahu Akbar” was seen as marking the arrival of Islamist terrorism from the Middle East to South America.