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Alleged Olympic Terrorists Arrested In Brazil

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O Globo, July 22

Two weeks before the Summer Olympics begin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is on high alert for risk of terrorist attacks aimed at the games. Friday's edition of Brazilian daily O Globois dominated by the articles and photographs of the dismantling of a group allegedly linked to the terror group Islamic State (ISIS), reported to be planning an attack on the Olympics.

On Thursday, ten people suspected of belonging to an organized group supporting ISIS were arrested, after discussing via social media acts of terrorism for the Rio Olympic Games, which start August 5, with more than 500,000 visitors expected. Police intervened after the alleged group tried to contact a black market weapons supplier near Paraguay to purchase a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

According to Brazilian authorities, the group's leader was based in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba, with the other members spread in nine Brazilian states. Following the arrests, Interim President Michel Temer called an emergency cabinet meeting, the first under Brazil's new anti-terrorism law approved earlier this year.

On Tuesday, SITE Intelligence Group that monitors the Internet for terrorist activities, reported that a presumed Brazilian Islamist group pledged allegiance to ISIS. However, the relation between that group and those detained on Thursday is still unclear.

A week after the Nice attacks, fears of a possible terrorist act during the Olympics are growing. Brazil will deploy some 85,000 soldiers, police and other security personnel during the Games, more than twice as many in place for the London Olympics of 2012.

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