France is facing further threats of terrorism.
This time, the threat targets its 2016 Olympic delegation – a 396-strong squad, which is the country's largest ever . It is allegedly the aim of an attack planned to take place at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The French military intelligence unveiled the plot in May at a parliamentary commission investigating the November 2015 attacks on Paris, according to BBC . The head of the French military intelligence said that they were warned by a partner agency of a Brazilian Islamist extremist’s plot, but details were not revealed. The hearing's transcript was made public the same week Nice suffered an attack that yielded more than 84 victims.
However, the Brazilian authorities have denied any knowledge of a terrorist threat on the Olympic Games, claiming they were not informed by the French. A Brazilian spokesman said, “We were not the source of information and the Brazilian intelligence agency (ABIN) was not officially informed either of this matter.”
Still, the Brazilian Justice Minister said earlier this month that a terrorist attack in Rio during the Olympics is possible, but not probable.
The Brazilian officials are exploiting their resources to boost security during the August event and the Defence Minister guaranteed optimal security. Security services in Rio de Janeiro have just evaluated their counter-terrorism strategies by staging a simulated attack.
Earlier this week, Brazil's Sports Minister declared that an extra $24 million will be invested in armed forces to enhance security.
According to The Telegraph, an Integrated Anti-Terror Centre will be in action for the Rio Olympics, run by Brazilian agencies, with the help of intelligence officers from the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Belgium, France, Argentina and Paraguay. Other centers will be set up in the football host cities and in the capital Brasilia.
"In all areas, spheres and predetermined places inside and outside the arenas we will have a defense, security and intelligence scheme that will meet all the requirements of the International Olympic Committee, ensuring security and peace in the hosting of these Games," the Brazilian Defense Minister, Raul Jungmann, assured.
The Brazilian officials and their foreign partners, who have been closely monitoring terrorist activity, believe that the biggest worry is single terrorists or groups acting impulsively rather than a coordinated attack.
Additionally, some 85,000 security personnel will be present to protect the Olympics, which is more than double the number deployed for the 2012 London Olympics. Those include 47,000 policemen and 38,000 soldiers. But security still stands on shaky grounds, with alarming crime rates in Rio and unpaid officers protesting.
Al Bawaba reports that Rio’s civil police and firefighters recently demonstrated their fury at at the city’s international airport, holding a banner that read “Welcome to Hell” and warning tourists that they were not safe.