Rio 2016: Brazil arrests 10 members of ‘amateur’ terrorism group targeting Olympics
Brazilian police arrest 10 members of an “amateur” would-be terrorist group that expressed loyalty to the Islamic State group and was targeting the upcoming Olympics, officials say.
Brazilian police have arrested 10 members of an “amateur” would-be terrorist group that expressed loyalty to the Islamic State group and was targeting the upcoming Olympics, officials say.
The anti-terrorism swoop codenamed Operation Hashtag was the most concrete security incident so far ahead of the Games, which start in Rio de Janeiro on August 5.
However, Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes described the alleged group of Brazilian nationals as “an absolutely amateur cell” and “disorganised”.
The alleged plotters were arrested across 10 different states in the vast country and had been in contact via messaging services WhatsApp and Telegram.
Most of them did not know each other previously and it was not clear if any had ever met in person.
Officials also downplayed links to the Islamic State group which has claimed responsibility for a string of bloody recent assaults on civilians in France and elsewhere.
“Some of them made an oath of loyalty by internet to the Islamic State, but there was no personal contact by this group with Islamic State by WhatsApp,” Mr de Moraes told journalists in the capital Brasilia.
He insisted the security situation ahead of the Games, the first held in South America, was unchanged.
“The risk remains the same. There is a minimal probability of a terrorist act during the Rio Olympics,” the Minister said at the hastily-called press conference.
Source: /Radio Australia