WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Brazilian police said they thwarted a plan by neo-Nazis to bomb two synagogues. Police arrested 14 men and released them pending an investigation into a plot to bomb the synagogues in the city of Porto Alegre, spokesmen said on Thursday.

“I have no doubt that we have aborted a major tragedy,” Paulo Cesar Jardim, an inspector, was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. Police said the men belonged to a group, “Neuland,” established in 2002 and comprising about 50 people.

Jardim described the members as “extremely intelligent, well-organized and very dangerous criminals who prey on Jews and gays in the name of racial purity.”