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Brazil's Police Stopped An "Absolutely Amateur" Plot From Would-Be ISIS Supporters

According to Brazil's Justice Minister, the plot to attack the Olympics had a low chance of success but it "didn't make sense to wait and see."

Posted on July 21, 2016, at 12:19 p.m. ET

Brazil's Federal Police on Thursday arrested 10 men accused of planning terror attacks against the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio — but made it clear the whole thing was very poorly planned.

Brazilian Minister of Justice Alexandre de Moraes, speaking at a press conference on Thursday morning, told reporters that the arrests did not increase the risk of terrorism during the Olympics and that the main concern during the event remains the fight against crime in Rio.
Evaristo Sa / AFP / Getty Images

Brazilian Minister of Justice Alexandre de Moraes, speaking at a press conference on Thursday morning, told reporters that the arrests did not increase the risk of terrorism during the Olympics and that the main concern during the event remains the fight against crime in Rio.

The arrests, according to Moraes, came after one of the would-be attackers attempted to purchase an AK-47 in neighboring Paraguay, which raised red flags.

Tasso Marcelo / AFP / Getty Images

The attempted purchase, which failed to go through, showed that the plotters were "amateur," Moraes said, but added that it still triggered the Federal Police operation, adding "it would not be sensible to wait and see."

The group's plan was not fully formed, in fact just "a few days ago they said they should start practicing martial arts, for example,” Moraes said in all seriousness.
Vanderlei Almeida / AFP / Getty Images

The group's plan was not fully formed, in fact just "a few days ago they said they should start practicing martial arts, for example,” Moraes said in all seriousness.

The plotters, he said, had pledged allegiance to ISIS and had been in contact with the militant group via WhatsApp and Telegram but had not received any instructions to act.

Of the 10 people arrested, who belonged to a group that called itself "Defenders of Sharia," only four actually knew each other personally, Moraes added. The police are also currently searching for two more suspects.
Tasso Marcelo / AFP / Getty Images

Of the 10 people arrested, who belonged to a group that called itself "Defenders of Sharia," only four actually knew each other personally, Moraes added. The police are also currently searching for two more suspects.

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