RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Islamist terrorists have issued directives to “lone wolves” to carry out attacks against the Israeli delegation and others at the Rio Olympics this summer, according to a news website.
The Foreign Desk reported that a list of directives published on social media advises jihadis to target American, British, French and Israeli athletes, saying “One small knife attack against Americans/Israelis in these places will have bigger media effect than any other attacks anywhere else insha Allah,” meaning “If Allah wills.”
“Your chance to take part in the global Jihad is here! Your chance to be a martyr is here!” the jihadis said, citing the easy process of obtaining visas for travel to Brazil as well as the wide availability of guns in “crime-ridden slums,” according to the report by Lisa Daftari, an investigative journalist specializing in foreign affairs as well as a Fox News analyst.
Israeli athletes are further singled out.
“From among the worst enemies, the most famous enemies for general Muslims is to attack Israelis. As general Muslims all agree to it and it causes more popularity for the Mujahideen among the Muslims,” the jihadis said on social media.
In parallel, Brazilian police on Thursday ordered the detention of 12 people who allegedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group via social media and discussed possible attacks during the games.
Operation “Hashtag” was announced by the justice minister, Alexandre Moraes, on Thursday morning at a news conference in Brasilia. The arrests took place based on Brazil’s new anti-terror law for which Jewish officials had advocated.
“There is only one way to face terrorism with efficiency: prevention,” Fernando Lottenberg, president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, told JTA in March.
“The concern with the recruitment network of the Islamic State scattered across Brazilian cities and on the internet has been growing and flagged by specialists. We have met congressmen and federal authorities many times to express the need for such legislation,” he said.
Allegedly members of a group called Defenders of Sharia, those arrested are believed to have been in online contact via social media with members of Islamic State. They are also reported to have discussed the acquisition of AK-47 assault rifles and celebrated the recent terror attacks on Orlando and Nice.
The Rio Olympics begin on Aug. 5. Between 500,000 and 1 million tourists are expected in Brazil’s second largest city, including some 10,000 Israelis coming to see their country’s largest-ever Olympics delegation compete for medals.