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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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Geert Wilders, The Europe Union's Biggest Problem Since Brexit

The victory of Geert Wilders' far-right party in this week's elections in the Netherlands shows that politics in Europe, at both the national and European Union level, has fundamentally failed to overcome its contradictions.

Geert Wilders, The Europe Union's Biggest Problem Since Brexit

A campaign poster of Geert Wilders, who leads the Party for Freedom (PVV) taken in the Hague, Netherlands

Pierre Haski

Updated Nov. 28, 2023 at 6:15 p.m.


PARIS — For a long time, Geert Wilders, recognizable by his peroxide hair, was an eccentric, disconcerting and yet mostly marginal figure in Dutch politics. He was known for his public outbursts against Muslims, particularly Moroccans who are prevalent in the Netherlands, which once led to a court convicting him for the collective insulting of a nationality.

Consistently ranking third or fourth in poll results, this time he emerged as the leader in Wednesday's national elections. The shock is commensurate with his success: 37 seats out of 150, twice as many as in the previous legislature.

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The recipe is the same everywhere: a robustly anti-immigration agenda that capitalizes on fears. Wilders' victory in the Netherlands reflects a prevailing trend across the continent, from Sweden to Portugal, Italy and France.

We must first see if Wilders manages to put together the coalition needed to govern. Already the first roadblock came this week with the loss of one of his top allies scouting for coalition partners from other parties: Gom van Strien, a senator in Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) was forced to resign from his role after accusations of fraud resurfaced in Dutch media.

Nonetheless, at least three lessons can be drawn from Wilders' far-right breakthrough in one of the founding countries of the European Union.

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