Rio Olympics under threat
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After a series of terror attacks attempting to shatter the world apart, the cowardly act seems to be now targeting the biggest sporting event which is scheduled next month in Brazil.
Brazilian authorities have stepped up security measures, planning security cordons, additional roadblocks and the frisking of visitors in Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics following an arrest of 10 people earlier in the day on suspicion of belonging to a group supporting Islamic State (IS).
In a statement released by Brazilian Justice Minister Alexandre Moraes at a press conference, the group comprised of Brazilian citizens and were in contact via internet messaging groups such as ‘WhatsApp’ and ‘Telegram’. They did not have direct contact with IS though some of its members had made ‘pro forma’ declarations of allegiance to the militant Islamist group.
“Those involved participated in an online group denominated ‘the defenders of Sharia’ and were planning to acquire weapons to commit crimes in Brazil and even overseas. It was an absolutely amateur cell, with no preparation at all, a disorganized cell,” the minister said, adding that authorities decided to intervene when the group started to plan actions.
It is alleged that members of the group had visited a weapons site in Paraguay that sells AK-47 assault rifles, but there was no evidence they acquired any weapons. In addition to the 10 already detained, two will be brought in for questioning
Moraes also said the leader of the group was based in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba, with others spread in nine Brazilian states.
A court in the state of Parana, where Curitiba is based, said there were indications that the group was planning to use weapons and guerilla tactics to achieve its aim.
Interim President Michel Temer had called an emergency cabinet meeting following the arrests, the first under Brazil’s tough new anti-terrorism law approved this year.
Precautions are taken at its best to avoid any kind of unwanted turpitude and ensure smooth functioning of the event starting from August 5.