Just weeks before its August 5 opening ceremonies, Brazil’s federal police arrested a group preparing “acts of terrorism” directed at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Although yet unconfirmed, Globonews reported that members of the group were affiliated with Islamic State militants, according to the Reuters news agency.
The competition for the games are cluster into four zones: Barra, Copacabana, Deodoro and Maracanã. It was uncertain which of those venues were being targeted.
Brazil’s intelligence first reported on Tuesday that it was investigating threats directed at the games after an apparent radical Islamic group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State; on Thursday sources confirmed arrests had been made.
The SITE Intelligence Group that monitors the internet reported the previously unknown group calling itself “Ansar al-Khilafah Brazil” said on the Telegram messaging app on Sunday that it followed IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and had promoted IS propaganda in Arabic, English and Portuguese.
The Bastille Day massacre in Nice, France prompted authorities in Brazil to step up security measures for the Olympics, including more roadblocks, searching of visitors and vendors and security cordons.
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Reuters reported via Twitter:
However, the Brazil Justice minister reported that there is “no increase in terrorism risk during Olympics.”
Many readers will recall that in1972, the Palestinian terrorist group Black September took 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team hostage during the Munich Olympic games. The hostages were eventually murdered by the terrorists.
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