Brazil police arrest alleged Rio 2016 terrorist plotters

Brazilian federal police arrested 10 people suspected of planning a terrorist attack at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes said.

The suspects, all of whom were Brazilians, were members of a group that had progressed from making "simple comments" about terrorist acts to preparing for an actual attack of their own, authorities said.

Their preparations included attempting to acquire an AK-47 assault rifle in Paraguay, Moraes said.

He added that the suspects had celebrated attacks claimed by Islamic State and declared Brazil a potential target despite the country not being part of the coalition battling the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

Members of the group plotted using communication apps WhatsApp and Telegram and rarely met in person, Moraes said. There was as yet no evidence that they were in direct contact with the Islamic State group.

The alleged plotters were detained on the basis of a new anti-terrorism law, the O Globo website reported. Two suspects remained at large, authorities said.

An Islamist group in Brazil recently pledged support to Islamic State for the first time. Approximately 85,000 security personnel will be on hand in August for the first Olympic summer games to be held in South America.

Last update: Sun, 21/08/2016 - 12:38

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