Brazilian police have arrested 10 people suspected of planning terrorist acts to be executed during the 2016 Rio Olympics.
According to Brazil’s Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes, the group was inspired by the terrorist group ISIS and mostly planned online. The minister defined the suspects as not organized and noted that most of the members are amateurs who knew each other via the Internet. There was no specific target of their alleged attack and it was not clear how they were going to implement their plans. The suspects are all Brazilian citizen.
“It was an amateur cell without any planned preparation,” the minister said.
He also said that the group tried to purchase guns online, something an organized group would never do. This incident comes just two weeks before the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The level of fear and possibilities of having a terrorist attack are rapidly rising in the first South American country to hold an Olympic games. These fears are associated with the terrorist attack in Nice and France last week.
Brazil is expected to receive more than 500,000 visitors all over the world to watch the games. Level of risk of being a target is very high, even though Brazil has no history of conflicts with any militant group in the world. However, the number of participant countries fighting against ISIS may encourage terrorists to attack the event.
In a news conference, the justice minister said, “Today was the first operation against a supposed terrorist cell in Brazil.” He added, “Brazil was not part of the coalition against IS but, because of the upcoming Olympics and because it will receive many foreigners, Brazil has become a target.”
Over 100 people who have possible links to terrorist groups have been monitored by the Brazilian federal police. They are also working with French SWAT teams to simulate different terrorist attack scenarios that can happen in August.
The Brazilian authorities assured that the government is ready to respond if these things happened during the big event.
Photo Courtesy: Jmex60/Wikipedia