Brasilia – Brazilian authorities expressed fears of growing terror threats with Rio Olympics 2016 approaching.
Brazilian police announced it had arrested members of a terrorist cell suspected who pledged allegiance to the ISIS and reportedly had ambitions of attacking the Olympic Games.
Brazilian Security Forces had warned earlier of possible threats posed by terrorism-sympathizers in addition to possible terrorist operation on Brazilian soil targeting foreign interests, especially the French team.
Brazilian Security Forces had a group named “Ansar al-Khilafah Brazil” under surveillance. The group was using WhatsApp and Telegram apps to communicate and promote itself.
Police had been tracking the group since April, monitoring their posts on Facebook and Twitter and tapping their phones.
“Public security should be of greater concern than terrorism, given the amateurism of this cell,” said Brazil’s interim justice minister Alexandre de Moreas.
According to SITE Intelligence Group, “Ansar al-Khilafah Brazil” channel is already making threats against the Rio Olympics, writing, “If French police couldn’t stop France attacks, then their training Brazil’s police will serve no use.”
SITE also reported that ISIS is telling jihadists to become “lone wolves” and “obtain guns or cause traffic accidents” and to attack public transit, take hostages, and to stab or poison people.
Director of SITE Rita Katz said, “Declaration of fidelity to ISIS is the first of a group in South America. Worrying: Western languages channels (English, Portuguese, Spanish, German, etc.) has shown dramatic increase in size and engagement.”
Brazilian media reported that the group did not have any bomb materials or funding and had tried to buy an AK-47 from Paraguay online. But the U.S. Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI) helped the Brazilian authorities to stop the transaction.
Media also uncovered a series of messages between members of the cell some of which made fun of the Brazilian security procedures.
Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) described the cell as “an absolutely amateur cell” and “Disorganized”.
“All threats related to the Rio 2016 Games are being meticulously investigated, particularly those related to terrorism,” ABIN said in a statement.
“Many are dismissed and those that deserve attention are investigated exhaustively,” ABIN said.