Daily Management Review

After Detection of Group Backing Islamic State, Threats to Rio Olympics Probed by Brazil


After Detection of Group Backing Islamic State, Threats to Rio Olympics Probed by Brazil
Following a presumed Brazilian Islamist group that pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS) about less than three weeks before the Games, intelligence agency in Brazil said on Tuesday it was investigating all threats to next month's Rio Olympics.
A group calling itself "Ansar al-Khilafah Brazil" claimed that it followed IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and had promoted IS propaganda in Arabic, English and Portuguese. The alleged group said this reportedly on the Telegram messaging app on Sunday, claimed the SITE Intelligence Group that monitors the internet for such suspected conversations and postings.
Security cordons were carefully planned, roadblocks were extended further and the visitors in Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics were frisked by the Brazilian authorities in their measure to step up security measures following the truck massacre in Nice last week.
Drills near sports facilities and along transport routes were carried out by police and soldiers over the weekend.
It is expected that as many as more than 500,000 foreign visitors would be visiting the country for the Games that start on August 5.  and are expected to attract as many as 500,000 foreign visitors.
"All threats related to the Rio 2016 Games are being meticulously investigated, particularly those related to terrorism," the Brazilian intelligence agency ABIN said in a statement in reply to questions related to the previously unknown group's claim of support for Islamic State.
"Many are dismissed and those that deserve attention are investigated exhaustively," ABIN said. There were however no comments made with respect to the question about whether the posting by the group presented a credible threat.
Even as authorities said no threat had been detected of an attack in Brazil, a Portuguese account on the Telegram app that was a channel for exchanging information on Islamic State was detected and confirmed by ABIN last month.
Brazil has sought to reassure the international community that the Games will be safe and terrorist threats are being taken seriously ever since the Thursday's attack in Nice where a truck plowed through crowds during Bastille Day celebrations.
Foreigners were invited to come to Rio and enjoy the Games and the beauty of the host city on Monday by the interim President Michel Temer through a video message.
"We have reinforced security very much in the city and you can come without worries. You can enjoy the marvels of Rio de Janeiro and attend the Games," he said in the brief video.
Brazilian security officials have been monitoring chatrooms and other communications among suspected sympathizers of radical groups and they are in close contact with partner countries about any possible threats to the Games, the agency said.
The possibility that a lone actor or group sympathetic to militant causes could seek to target the event rather than the threat of a coordinated attack by known militants is the biggest concern during the Olympics for the security agencies of Brazil, they have said.
In what would be more than twice the size of the security deployment during the London Olympics in 2012, Brazil will deploy about 85,000 soldiers, police and other security personnel.

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