Terrorists Release Attack Techniques for the Olympics − Lone Wolves are Biggest Concern

first_imgBy Marcos Ommati/Diálogo July 22, 2016 Attacking airports andpublic transportation vehicles, stabbings, poisoning, taking hostages, and placingfalse threats. These are some of the techniques cited by 10 Brazilian jihadistsarrested by Brazil’s Federal Police (PF) on July 21st for incitingand planning possible attacks during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Theyalso called upon “lone wolves” (people who act alone in terrorist attacks) to goto Brazil. The arrests are part of Operation Hashtag, which monitors otherpeople with possible links to extremist groups. The extremists usedSocial Media to publish 17 techniques to carry out terrorist attacks during the2016 Rio Olympic Games, which start on August 5th. They evenrevealed a schedule of terrorist acts. At the same time, Brazilian authorities hadbeen monitoring a group of about 100 terrorist supporters; the 10 detaineeswere among them. According to theBrazilian Minister of Justice, Alexandre de Moraes, who also heads the FederalPolice, the group communicated through the very popular instant message applicationsWhatsApp and Telegram, and began to draw the attention of the federal agentsthat investigate these cases after “making an oath to the Islamic State” (ISIS,also called Daesh) through the Internet. They had created a channel on Telegramwith the name “Ansar al-Khilafah Brazil,” representing the first time that anative South American openly claims their supposed alliance with ISIS. Even thoughinvestigations have not yet found a direct link between the suspects and ISIS, theirconversations show that they started to “feel part” of the faction, in additionto showing evidence that the attacks could potentially be carried out. “There were a series ofpreparatory acts and, at a given moment, the group showed that Brazil is nolonger a neutral country. In virtue of the Olympics and the arrival of touristsof diverse nationalities, Brazil could become a target,” explained MinisterMoraes at a press conference. According to him, there was a real risk ofsuffering an attack such as the one on Club Pulse, in Orlando, Florida, on June12th, in which 50 people died, could be repeated in Rio de Janeiro. One of the individualsbeing investigated contacted a supplier of illegal weapons in Paraguay, requestingto buy an AK-47 rifle by email. The messages between the Islamic Statesympathizer and the arms supplier are being in the hands of researchers,according to a report in VEJAmagazine, one of the biggest and most important media outlets in Brazil. InJune, VEJA revealed the existence ofa confidential report in which the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) definedthe level of terrorist threat for Brazil during the Olympic Games in Rio at 4,on a scale of 1 to 5. Coincidentally, a week beforethe arrests, Brazil deported a French-Algerian nuclear physicist convicted by aParis court in 2012 for his involvement in plotting an attack in France in 2009with an al Qaeda militant in Algeria. Although the Brazilian jihadists may beunrelated to this incident, it is clear that ISIS or ISIS-friendly activities arebeginning to brew in Latin America. Following the latest terroristattack perpetrated by ISIS supporters in Nice, France, on July 14th,Brazilian authorities said they would step up security measures for the Gamesby adding further roadblocks, cordons, and frisking more visitors in Rio deJaneiro. Still, Brazilian authorities insist the country is well-prepared torespond to any kind of threats during the Rio Olympics. Some 85,000 soldiersand police will be on patrol in a bid to secure Rio de Janeiro for the 10,000athletes and the 350,000 to 500,000 foreigner spectators expected to arrive forthe Games. That’s roughly twice the security contingent deployed at the 2012Summer Games in London. As the latestdevelopments show, activities that Brazilian authorities could have considereda mere exaggeration until now prove that the presence of Islamist terrorists inBrazilian territory is now confirmed, so authorities cannot be too careful.last_img

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