Venezuela has arrested a key aid to opposition figure Juan Guaido for leading a “terrorist cell” seeking to attack the government’s leadership.

Intelligence officers detained Guaido’s chief of staff, Roberto Marrero, in a predawn raid on his home, where they seized an arms cache and foreign cash, according to Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol.

The arrest prompted the US to threaten Caracas with “the toughest sanctions” ever.

In a televised speech, Reverol showed an image of two rifles that were found in Marrero’s place, saying he was “directly responsible for the organization” of criminal groups.

“This citizen was seized with weapons of war and numerous foreign currency in cash,” Reverol said.

Marrero’s bodyguard, Luis Paez, was also detained and faced the same charges and a search was on for “identified” collaborators, he added.

Shortly after their detention, President Nicolas Maduro said he would “not be afraid to fight terrorist groups to put them in jail.”

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