Brazil’s federal police today arrested 10 people and smashed a network allied to ISIS that was preparing ‘acts of terrorism’ at next month’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
President Michel Temer has called an emergency cabinet meeting and Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes said the operation spanned nine states across Brazil.
A court in the southern state of Parana said there were indications the group was planning to use weapons and guerrilla-style tactics.
Brazil’s intelligence agency said earlier this week it was investigating all threats to the Rio Olympics, which start on August 5.
It comes as reports grew of jihadi groups linked to terror network al Qaeda are urging their followers to carry out ‘lone wolf attacks at the Olympics in Rio targeting American, British and French athletes.
The 2016 Games are set to begin in just over two weeks in Brazil where security is set to be tight throughout the event.
It comes after it was revealed last week that a Brazilian group has become the first organisation in South America to pledge allegiance to ISIS.
The calls come just days after the Brazilian group pledged allegiance to ISIS sparking further fears for a terror attack at the Rio Olympics.
The pledge was spotted by SITE Intelligence , a jihadi monitoring group, on ISIS’s messaging app of choice – Telegram.
In the Telgram channel titled Ansar al-Khilafah #Brazil, the Brazilian jihadis announced their dedication to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Meanwhile, France was last week informed of a planned terror attack on its team at the Games, according to the head of military intelligence.
The plans were revealed by General Christophe Gomart, head of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DRM), at a parliamentary commission in May investigating the attacks in Paris in January and November last year which left 147 people dead.
In the report on the planned Rio attack, Gomart told the commission that he had been informed of the plot – planned by a Brazilian national – ‘by our partners’.
No other details on the claims were made available by the French authorities.
Brazil’s institutional security cabinet, which co-ordinates the information services in the country, told AFP they had received no information from the French authorities.
‘We were not the source of information and the Brazilian intelligence agency (ABIN) was not officially informed either of this matter,’ a spokesman told AFP.
In early July, the Brazilian Minister of Justice, Alexandre Moraes, said a jihadist attack in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics was a ‘possibility’ but ‘not a probability’.
Some 85,000 members of the security forces – 47,000 policemen and 38,000 soldiers – will be mobilised to ensure the safety of 10,500 athletes as well as officials, journalists and tourists from around the world expected for the Games which run from August 5 to 21.