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

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

By Marcos Ommati/Diálogo
July 22, 2016

Attacking airports and
public transportation vehicles, stabbings, poisoning, taking hostages, and placing
false threats. These are some of the techniques cited by 10 Brazilian jihadists
arrested by Brazil’s Federal Police (PF) on July 21st for inciting
and planning possible attacks during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. They
also called upon “lone wolves” (people who act alone in terrorist attacks) to go
to Brazil. The arrests are part of Operation Hashtag, which monitors other
people with possible links to extremist groups. The extremists used
Social Media to publish 17 techniques to carry out terrorist attacks during the
2016 Rio Olympic Games, which start on August 5th. They even
revealed a schedule of terrorist acts. At the same time, Brazilian authorities had
been monitoring a group of about 100 terrorist supporters; the 10 detainees
were among them. According to the
Brazilian Minister of Justice, Alexandre de Moraes, who also heads the Federal
Police, the group communicated through the very popular instant message applications
WhatsApp and Telegram, and began to draw the attention of the federal agents
that investigate these cases after “making an oath to the Islamic State” (ISIS,
also called Daesh) through the Internet. They had created a channel on Telegram
with the name “Ansar al-Khilafah Brazil,” representing the first time that a
native South American openly claims their supposed alliance with ISIS. Even though
investigations have not yet found a direct link between the suspects and ISIS, their
conversations show that they started to “feel part” of the faction, in addition
to showing evidence that the attacks could potentially be carried out. “There were a series of
preparatory acts and, at a given moment, the group showed that Brazil is no
longer a neutral country. In virtue of the Olympics and the arrival of tourists
of diverse nationalities, Brazil could become a target,” explained Minister
Moraes at a press conference. According to him, there was a real risk of
suffering an attack such as the one on Club Pulse, in Orlando, Florida, on June
12th, in which 50 people died, could be repeated in Rio de Janeiro. One of the individuals
being investigated contacted a supplier of illegal weapons in Paraguay, requesting
to buy an AK-47 rifle by email. The messages between the Islamic State
sympathizer and the arms supplier are being in the hands of researchers,
according to a report in VEJA
magazine, one of the biggest and most important media outlets in Brazil. In
June, VEJA revealed the existence of
a confidential report in which the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) defined
the level of terrorist threat for Brazil during the Olympic Games in Rio at 4,
on a scale of 1 to 5. Coincidentally, a week before
the arrests, Brazil deported a French-Algerian nuclear physicist convicted by a
Paris court in 2012 for his involvement in plotting an attack in France in 2009
with an al Qaeda militant in Algeria. Although the Brazilian jihadists may be
unrelated to this incident, it is clear that ISIS or ISIS-friendly activities are
beginning to brew in Latin America. Following the latest terrorist
attack perpetrated by ISIS supporters in Nice, France, on July 14th,
Brazilian authorities said they would step up security measures for the Games
by adding further roadblocks, cordons, and frisking more visitors in Rio de
Janeiro. Still, Brazilian authorities insist the country is well-prepared to
respond to any kind of threats during the Rio Olympics. Some 85,000 soldiers
and police will be on patrol in a bid to secure Rio de Janeiro for the 10,000
athletes and the 350,000 to 500,000 foreigner spectators expected to arrive for
the Games. That’s roughly twice the security contingent deployed at the 2012
Summer Games in London. As the latest
developments show, activities that Brazilian authorities could have considered
a mere exaggeration until now prove that the presence of Islamist terrorists in
Brazilian territory is now confirmed, so authorities cannot be too careful.
Share