Brazilian Government Raises the Stakes in Terrorism Fear-mongering
PORTO ALEGRE — Let’s be clear: Brazil is in no threat of being attacked by Islamic terrorists. However, the mainstream media and the government have been orchestrating a country-wide campaign to legitimize what they say is proof that ISIS is preparing to attack the country during the Olympic games.
Agents of the counterterrorism division of the Brazilian police arrested a group of ten Brazilian suspects who allegedly belong to the Islamic State and who authorities assume, intended to carry out an attack in Rio.
After spying on messages exchanged by young people in social networks, especially Facebook and Twitter, authorities warned that they received instructions from accounts that claimed to have connection with ISIS and they were looking for weapons.
The operation has been developed in the states of Sao Paulo and Parana and, among those arrested, police found at least one minor.
Justice Minister of the interim government, Alexandre Moraes, reported that the youth had recently been radicalized, and desired to travel overseas to fight in the ranks of ISIS, but later changed their priority to stay in Brazil to plan attacks here.
“They said that Brazil was not part of the enemy coalition of the Islamic State, that their struggle was abroad, but as the Olympics approached, when the country was preparing to receive foreign visitors, Brazil became the target of their attacks,” said the minister at a press conference.
Moraes described how the group began receiving military training online and how one of them was in the process of buying an AK-47 in a clandestine web hosted in Paraguay.
The youngsters apparently fit the profile that the police considered to be part of the greatest risk: Brazilian newly converted to Islam, frustrated by the pacifist tone of the country’s mosques, seeking radical propaganda on the Internet. Their computers and mobile phones have been confiscated.
The government has ruled that the group has more cells around the country and has assured the public that it was investigating them for some time. This was the first action of its kind in Brazil since the country adopted its anti-terrorism law February.
The Rio Games, the first in South America, will be held between 5 and 21 August, and security has been one of the main topics of discussion in recent months.
Earlier this week, a website known as SITE, which analyzes the information circulating on jihadists on the Internet, reported that a group called Ansar al Jilafá, original from Brazil, had proclaimed their loyalty to ISIS, which is apparently run by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.
As of right now, no one in government has been able to show proof of imminent danger regarding potential serious terrorist attacks in Brazil, or, to be more specifically in Rio.
Rumors that a handful of kids with AK-47s represent a threat to the country is nothing else than an attempt to justify the rapidly growing police state that has taken root in Brazil.