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Brazil’s intelligence agency said it was reviewing all threats against the Rio 2016 Games. Authorities are sharing information with foreign governments, and an international counterterrorism center was set, the first of its kind at an Olympics Games, to try to thwart any potential threat.
Last week a jihadi channel on the messaging app Telegram called for attacks against the Games and detailed targets and method, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, cited by CNN. The message was posted to “Inspire the Believers!” saying, “lone wolf from anywhere in the world can move to Brazil now.” It suggested using the Games to target the enemies of jihad, including Western athletes, and said it would introduce the hashtag “#RioLW.”
Earlier in the month, Andrei Rodrigues, security chief for the Olympic Games, said there are many doubts about the authenticity of those claiming to represent a Brazilian branch of ISIS, including by some jihadists. Intelligence firm Flashpoint had “not seen any credible evidence substantiating such reports.”
Security experts said Brazil has no history of jihadi activity and no established terror networks, making it difficult to pull off a complex attack at the Olympics. However, there is always the threat of an individual, or “lone wolf,” terrorist and those are the people jihadi social media are hoping to reach.
Following the Nice terroirst attack, Brazilian authorities said they were reviewing their Olympic security plan, widening perimeters around venues and adding checkpoints and traffic restrictions.
Brazilian Paratrooper Brigade soldiers will be deployed at the Games, which will have about twice as many security people as the London Games. About 85,000 police, soldiers and firefighters will be on duty for the Games, On Wednesday, more than two weeks before the opening ceremonies, troops appeared on popular beaches, including Copacabana.