Brazil charges 11 with planning to set up Islamic State cell

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian prosecutors have charged 11 people with planning to set up a cell of the Islamic State extremist group in Latin America's biggest country and recruit sympathizers to carry out terrorist attacks in Brazil.

The federal prosecutor's office in the state of Goias released the charges Thursday.

According to the charges, Brazilian authorities started in 2016 to monitor social media messages posted by the 11 people after being tipped off by Spanish police.

The charges were released one year after Brazil's Congress passed an anti-terrorism law that greatly widened the scope of what is considered terrorism. The law calls for up to eight years in prison for "advocating terrorism" and 10 to 20 years for "joining terrorist organizations."