Brazil’s federal police on Thursday launched Operation Bravata, which dismantled a gang dedicated to perpetrating online hate crimes, threats, and inciting terrorism on websites and social media platforms.

The police carried out search and arrest warrants in the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Recife, Curitiba, Santa Maria and Vila Velha.

One of those arrested was Marcello Vale Silveira Mello, a systems analyst from the southern city of Curitiba, while six other suspects were rounded up.

The arrest warrant against Silveira Mello was signed by judge Marcos Josegrei, who emphasized that such online crimes were “aggressions… stimulating the most diverse violations of human rights.”

Mello was arrested and charged for similar crimes during another operation in 2012.

He was part of an online hate group named “Hombres Santos” (Holy Men), which used social media to spread racist and neo-nazi content, inciting violence against black people, homosexuals and women, as well as encouraging rape and murder.

The police indicated that there was evidence that those under investigation were responsible for “bomb threats sent to various universities in the country.”

Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.