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Lev Tahor: in the footsteps of the "Jewish Taliban" in America

In the early morning of December 18, 2018, an international commando was about to deliver a withering blow to Lev Tahor , an extremist sect that was called "the Jewish Taliban" by the Israeli press after leaving a trail of more than 40 years of accusations of forced marriages, human trafficking, sexual abuse and child abuse.

The leaders of the group had traveled from Guatemala to New York to kidnap two minors, a 14-year-old girl and her 12-year-old brother. They used disguises, false names and passports, disposable phones, and traveled by land and air to avoid being discovered. Their final destination was to return to Guatemala, where the group had settled four years earlier, with the goal of returning the teenager to the "husband" the community had chosen for her.

After weeks of investigation, the satellite tracking of one of the mobiles used by the kidnappers led FBI agents , the Mexican Federal Police, state police and diplomatic personnel to the doors of an unimaginable hiding place: San Miguel Tlaixpán, a small town in the state of of Mexico with less than 15,000 inhabitants.

The transnational command broke into a large house in the town minutes after three in the morning, according to police reports declassified this year. The land is nestled on a hill, between narrow and steep streets, surrounded by chicken coops and trees. "You could tell they weren't people from here, they were very white," recalls Yolanda, a neighbor who lives a couple of houses away.



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