RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian police have ordered the detention of 12 people who allegedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group via social media and discussed possible attacks during the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, officials said Thursday.
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. The gender of the people was not given.
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 São Paulo and Paraná. 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.
ADRIANA GÓMEZ LICÓN