According to a report that was published in a Mexican newspaper on Tuesday, law enforcement authorities in Mexico carried out large raids, during which they arrested twenty members of the Jewish cult known as Lev Tahor.
The report stated that the operation was conducted in a Mexican migration control facility on the country's border with Guatemala, where the cult members were being kept.
Arresting Members of Jewish Cult Lev Tahor
According to The Jerusalem Post, in the aftermath of the raids, the families of the detained members of Lev Tahor organized a protest against the conditions in which their loved ones were being held in the facility.
Information on the detainees' living situation was being severely restricted by Mexican officials.
Also, the families also challenged the arrests, alleging that everyone of the 20 Jewish people who were detained in the operation had all of the proper permits and documents to continue living in Central America.
The report also stated that Israel Amir, a former member of Lev Tahor who was said to be working with former Mossad agents to gather intelligence on the cult, rescued his kid from the cult during the operation and returned to Israel with him the following day.
Amir left the cult in 2019 and has been attempting to track down his son, now four years old, ever since.
For the past two years, he has collaborated with the Mossad to acquire intelligence and plan for his son's safe extraction from the cult.
Photos of children locked in cages and claims of abuse were among the details of the cult that Amir's team uncovered.
Suspicion of Trafficking, Sexual Offences Against Lev Tahor
After a police raid in Mexico, the Lev Tahor cult's jungle base was cleared out, and the children and older teenagers who had been living there were taken away.
According to the Israeli foreign ministry, two members of the group Lev Tahor were detained on suspicion of involvement in human trafficking as well as major sexual offenses, including rape. A child that was evacuated from the facility and is three years old has been transported to Israel.
As reported by BBC, on Friday morning, law enforcement officers entered the compound located 11 miles north of Tapachula in the state of Chiapas.
After an investigation by the Attorney General's Office Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime, they were given orders by a federal judge to arrest several leaders on suspicion of child abuse and rescue members of Lev Tahor.
According to an Israeli source involved in the operation, the youngsters were swiftly isolated from the rest of the group out of concern for their safety should any of them try to hinder their removal.
It also revealed that Israel's foreign ministry said 26 people were located in the facility, including Israeli nationals who also held citizenship in other countries.
As per the report, two Canadians and an Israeli were taken into custody, and two others who were wanted had apparently fled the property two days before the operation.
Five more were held for allegedly breaching immigration laws. The Israeli foreign ministry has reported that the remaining members are being held in a Mexican Ministry of Welfare facility pending a decision on their future.
Lev Tahor As 'Jewish Taliban'
According to The Times of Israel, the extremist ultra-Orthodox group known as Lev Tahor was created by Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans in Jerusalem in the 1980s.
After facing significant scrutiny from Canadian authorities in 2014 on allegations of child abuse and child marriage, the group moved to Canada and then to Guatemala.
After Helbrans's untimely death by drowning in Mexico in 2017, the group was run by his son. An opposing group, Lev Tahor Survivors, has pegged the cult's membership at between 300 and 350 persons.
It also stated that the group has been branded as a cult and as the "Jewish Taliban," as women and girls are compelled to wear long black robes covering their entire body, including their faces.
Most of the men's time is devoted to worship and Torah study. The group follows a strict, unconventional interpretation of kosher laws.