Group of Suspected Terrorists Planned to Attack the Masses at Rio 2016 Using Chemical Weapons
In July, during the so-called "Operation Hashtag", a group of suspected terrorists were arrested by Brazil's Federal Police. They were accused of planning to use chemical weapons in a mass terrorists attack at the Olympic Games in Rio.
It has been revealed now that their proposal was to contaminate a water-station and put thousands of people's lives at risk.
The group was caught after their plans, discussed in an email thread and using online messaging service Telegram, were uncovered by security services.
Fifteen suspects were believed to part of the Jundallah group (which translates as Soldiers of God), affiliated with the Islamic State. They were arrested between June 21 and August 11.
|Editoria de arte/Folhapress|
Alisson Luan de Oliveira, using the online profile Alisson Mussab, used Telegram to post a plan to exterminate masses of people. "Have you ever imagined a biochemical attack, contaminating the water available at a water-station?"
In case the biochemical attack did not work, Hortêncio Hioshitake, under the name Teo Yoshi, suggested an alternative similar to the attacks carried out in the USA in 2013, which left three dead and 264 wounded. "We could do another Boston Marathon attack."
"You guys know how to make home-made bombs, right?" asked Mara Salvatrucha (whose online name is inspired by a US and Central American gang).
In the online exchange, the user Nur Al Din shared a recipe for gunpowder with the group. Salvatrucha chipped in with a step-by-step guide how to make a home-made bomb.
The Federal Police discovered messages attributed to Leonid El Kadre de Melo, codename Abu Khalled El Kadri, in which he called on the group to "jihad" (fight) and suggested that each individual should prepare by learning martial arts and arms training, both with small and large weapons.
He suggested the group also made plans to obtain financial and human resources to send to IS.
The Federal Police have until September 9 to provide the Justice System with the message threads and other online materials.
The judge trying the case, Marcos Josegrei da Silva, extended the temporary prison service of the first 12 suspects to the 18th of this month. The sentences of the others will be decided on September 9, but could also be extended for another month.
Translated by GILLIAN SOPHIE HARRIS