No "specific security threat" at Rio Olympics, Interpol says

 The international police agency Interpol said Wednesday that it does not see a "specific security threat" at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where thousands of heavily armed soldiers and police officers have been deployed to ensure safety.

"Although there is no specific security threat to the Rio Games, vigilance and preparedness are essential," Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock said in a statement. "No one can predict from where the next crime or terror threat will emerge."

Brazil's most famous city has contended with violence in outlying neighbourhoods for decades, but also had to prepare for the possibility of a terrorist threat during the Games, which it will host for much of August.

In late July, Brazilian federal police arrested 10 people suspected of plotting a terrorist attack at the Games. The suspects, all of whom were Brazilians, were members of an online group calling itself the Defenders of Sharia.

"Our duty is to fight every form of crime and terrorism," Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes said late Tuesday.

The country is providing 47,000 police officers and 38,000 soldiers to ensure security at the first Olympics to be held in South America - more than double the forces deployed during the London Games four years ago.

Brazil is also getting help from around 255 police officers dispatched by 55 other nations. The country has become one of the most prolific users of Interpol's databases, conducting an average of 1 million checks every day, the international police agency said.

The security measures are especially focused on sport venues and Rio's most famous tourist attractions, such as the Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugarloaf mountain and Copacabana beach.

Clashes between drug gangs and the police have increased ahead of the Games. A new police operation took place on Wednesday in the Complexo do Alemao neighbourhood, with at least 10 people taken into custody, according to the O Globo news outlet.

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