Ten people were arrested on Thursday by the Brazilian police on suspicions of being a part of an "absolutely amateur" organisation that was supporting the Islamic State group and planning terrorist attacks during the Olympic Games that are scheduled to take place next month in Rio de Janeiro.
All members of the group were Brazilian citizens who, despite not knowing each other personally, were in touch through messaging applications like WhatsApp and Telegram, Justice Minister Alexandre Moraes said. He added that they were "absolutely amateur with no preparation." They were inspired by the Isis and they tried buying a gun online, which no terrorist organisation would do.
Moraes also said that while no specific targets were mentioned, the police was still investigating the computers and mobile phones of the arrested persons for possible plans. A minor had also been mentioned in the conversations, he was quoted by CNN as saying.
Moraes further added that the Brazilian authorities stepped in when the group started discussing about training in martial arts and shooting.
Arrest warrants have been issued for two other people and authorities believe they will be soon arrested.
The Brazilian police and intelligence services coordinated with British, French, German, Israeli and U.S. intelligence agencies to carry out the arrests, Reuters reported.
About 100 people, most of them along the lawless tri-border region with Paraguay and Argentina, are being monitored for possible terror links.
Brazil has become a target for terrorist organisations due to the Olympic Games that will be held in the country, despite having no conflict with terror groups. Moraes believes the country is being specially targeted because of the participation of countries that are fighting against the Isis.
"Today was the first operation against a supposed terrorist cell in Brazil... Brazil was not part of the coalition against IS but, because of the upcoming Olympics and because it will receive many foreigners, Brazil has become a target," Moraes said at a news conference.
Around 500,000 people are expected to travel to the Latin American country for the Olympics. Brazil has planned to deploy around 85,000 security personnel for the purpose and will also put in place a security centre where representatives from over 100 countries will monitor the games and share intelligence.