A Brazilian Jihadist group has pledged its loyalty to ISIS on social media Isis just weeks before the Olympic Games are due to take place in Rio de Janeiro. They say that the country’s law enforcement agencies can do nothing to prevent a terrorist attack.
According to extremist monitoring group SITE Intelligence, a channel on the Telegram app called Ansar al-Khilafah #Brazil has posted a message of support for Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
They posted the following thread: “If the French police couldn’t stop attacks on its own soil, the training they gave Brazilian police forces won’t be good for anything.” The text is a reference to the collaboration between Brazilian anti-terror forces and their international counterparts.
This is the first time that a South American group announces its loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. However, this is not the first time that the terrorist group has shown interest in Brazil. In late May, ISIS opened a version of its global channel Nashir – also on Telegram.
Now it is hard to say if the threat is real or simply a hoax. ISIS doesn’t operate in such way. They usually claim the responsibility of an attack after it happens without threatening beforehand.
Even though the message does not exactly correspond to ISIS’s modus operandi, as the host country of the Olympics, Brazil is presumably a favorable target for terrorist groups. “Athletes from all the countries, that extremists label as “enemies,” will be here. Furthermore, ISIS has changed much of its strategy in recent months, after losing a considerable chunk of territory both in Syria and Iraq,” says André Luis Wolozsyn, an expert in counter-terrorism.
Brazil’s Intelligence Agency doesn’t comment the incident. After the Nice attack, when a man drove a truck into a crowd for 2 kilometers, killing 84 people and injuring 303 others, the Brazilian government announced stricter security measures for the Olympics.
On Saturday, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the president of the Organizing Committee, said that we must hope for the best because no one can control everything that will happen. While this is true, it’s certainly not the most reassuring statement.