Al-Qaeda said to urge attacks on Israeli athletes at Rio games
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Al-Qaeda said to urge attacks on Israeli athletes at Rio games

Jihadis encouraged to kill or kidnap competitors and spectators; Brazil arrests 10 IS followers in alleged Olympics terror plot

Brazilian army special forces assigned to the security of the Rio 2016 Olympics Games train along the platforms of the Deodoro train station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on July 16, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON)
Brazilian army special forces assigned to the security of the Rio 2016 Olympics Games train along the platforms of the Deodoro train station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on July 16, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON)

The al-Qaeda jihadist group has reportedly issued a directive urging its followers to carry out lone wolf attacks against Israeli athletes at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

According to exchanges on social media obtained by The Foreign Desk website, jihadis are urged to target individual competitors from the US, UK, France and Israel, using knives, poison, explosives-laden drones and kidnappings.

“One small knife attack against Americans/Israelis in these places will have bigger media effect than any other attacks anywhere else, God willing,” one message read.

One post suggested pouring oil on roads near Olympic host venues in order to “see Israeli Jews flying with their vehicle by the will of Allah.”

Would-be attackers were assured that obtaining a visa to Brazil is relatively easy, and that guns are widely available in Rio’s “crime-ridden slums,” the report said.

Singling out Israelis

The posts specifically single out Israeli athletes and spectators as targets.

President Reuven Rivlin hosts the Israeli delegation to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, at the president’s residence in Jerusalem, on July 13, 2016. (Photo by Mark Neyman/GPO)

“From among the worst enemies, the most famous enemies for general Muslims is to attack Israelis. As general Muslims all agree to it and it causes more popularity for the Mujahideen among the Muslims,” the message said.

The jihadis were reminded to prepare a claim of responsibility in advance of their attacks, and suggested attackers send an email to a friend, or schedule a Facebook post.

The report came as Brazilian police on Thursday arrested 10 people who allegedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terror group via social media and discussed possible attacks during the August games.

Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes said in the capital, Brasilia, that 10 suspects had been arrested and two more were being sought. All 12 are Brazilian and one is a minor.

Police acted because the group discussed the use of weapons and guerrilla tactics to potentially launch an attack during the Olympics, which begin Aug. 5, Moraes said.

“They were complete amateurs and ill-prepared” to actually launch at attack, Moraes said. “A few days ago they said they should start practicing martial arts, for example.”

Still, Moraes said even disorganized groups should be taken seriously.

The arrests were made in 10 different states, including Sao Paulo and Parana. Moraes said there were no specific targets for an attack.

Last week the top military aide for Brazil’s interim government said concerns over terrorism had “reached a higher level” after the attack in Nice, France.

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