ISIS Terror Plot Thwarted By Brazilian Police: 10 Arrested For Planning Rio Olympics Attacks

The Brazilian police have arrested 10 people, including one juvenile, after it was discovered they had pledged allegiance to ISIS and were planning attacks at the Rio Olympics. Officials claim that the Islamic State sympathizers were planning Paris-style attacks at the Olympics games, but the group’s plans were foiled by police. The arrests come as Brazil’s intelligence agency investigates numerous threats against the Rio Olympics, which are slated to begin on August 5.

The Daily Mail reports that a terror plot has been thwarted by police in Brazil after evidence was uncovered that a group was planning weapons attacks at the Rio Olympics. Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, called emergency meetings after serious threats to the 2016 Olympics were uncovered. The Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes was called to investigate the Islamic State operation in the country and investigations reportedly led police through nine Brazilian states before finally making the 10 arrests (some reports indicate 12 were arrested). President Temer notes that terror attacks at the Rio Olympic games are “possible” but not “probable” as Brazil’s intelligence agency is on top of the situation.

Although arrests were made in connection with the alleged Paris-style attacks at the Rio games, Moraes notes that those arrested were “amateurs” and likely couldn’t have pulled off the attack they had planned. He says the group was highly disorganized and that a number of things discussed in their plans seem to indicate that they did not know what they were doing. For example, Moraes says that the ISIS sympathizers were planning to take martial arts classes leading up to the attack.

“He said the group were ‘complete amateurs, and ill-prepared’ to actually launch an attack but he said even seemingly disorganised groups had to be taken seriously. Asked why he thought they were amateurish, he replied: ‘A few days ago they said they should start practicing martial arts, for example.'”

Prior to the arrests, reports indicated that the first organized group in South America had pledged allegiance to ISIS which was sparking concerns for the safety of the Rio Olympics. Site Intel Group reports that the group, which calls itself Ansar al-Khilafah Brazil, formally pledged allegiance to ISIS earlier this month. The Islamic State is also using social media and networks to encourage “lone wolf” attacks at the Olympics and has even provided potential martyrs with a series of suggested ways to inflict the most damage during the attacks.

The Foreign Desk reports that the Islamic State is encouraging individual supporters to launch “lone wolf” attacks at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The group notes that targeting American/UK/French/Israeli athletes and visitors would be the most effective, as it would ensure national news coverage.

“One small knife attack against Americans/Israelis in these places will have bigger media effect than any other attacks anywhere else in sha Allah. Your chance to take part in the global Jihad is here! Your chance to be a martyr is here!”

ISIS notes that obtaining a travel visa Brazil for the Olympic games is rather simple and that jihadists can use it to their advantage. They go on to note that once in Brazil, weapons could easily be obtained in area slums for a small price. The group reveals that spectators at the games are good targets for terrorist attacks, especially when they are drunk. Therefore, attacks at nightclubs or in areas where there is heavy drinking is suggested.

Other attack methods being promoted by the group includes knife attacks, using drones to drop explosives, poisoning food, and kidnapping Israeli and American athletes to trade in exchange for Muslim prisoners. The group also suggests pouring oil on highways so that they can “see Israeli Jews flying with their vehicle by the will of Allah.”

Despite the amateur nature of the group arrested in Brazil, the government says that all terror plans, even disorganized ones, are being taken very seriously, as even a disorganized attack could cause mass devastation at an event like the Rio Olympics.

Do you think the Brazilian government will be able to handle the influx of tourists, athletes, and potential terrorists into the nation as concerns mount over the country’s capabilities to keep the games safe?

[Photo by Leo Correa/AP Images]