The United States is taking the threat posed by ISIS to the 2016 Rio Olympics very seriously. A classified report revealed that US intelligence has sent more than 1,000 spies to Rio to thwart any acts of terrorism that might disrupt the games.
This comes after several European countries are rocked by attacks allegedly carried out by ISIS sympathizers. The games are expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people. Any successful terrorist attack would dwarf anything the group has done so far.
2016 Rio Olympics Terror Threat
According to NBC News, there are currently hundreds of analysts, law enforcement and special operations personnel on the ground. In addition, more than a dozen highly trained US Special Forces are working closely with the Brazilian authorities.
The ground team includes members from all 17 US intelligence agencies, dealing in military, civilian, and technology intelligence and surveillance. The United States has also placed a large military unit on call should counter-terrorism or a rescue need to be carried out.
The joint team will be cooperating with local authorities in vetting both the participants, as well as the security detail for the 2016 Rio Olympics. They will also monitor known terrorist social media accounts and offer help in securing computer networks during the event.
According to a spokesman for National Intelligence Director James Clapper, “U.S. intelligence agencies are working closely with Brazilian intelligence officials to support their efforts to identify and disrupt potential threats to the Olympic Games in Rio.”
There are no indications or threats from ISIS that they will target the biggest sporting event of the year. However, several Rio residents have taken into custody by Brazilian authorities. They are under the suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack on the games.
The arrested individuals were described to be “amateur” and were trying to purchase weapons online. US intelligence has also identified activities by terrorist group Hezbollah in the country.
The US military services also have athletes competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics. With the rising threat of terrorism, hopefully there will be no repeat of the tragic 1972 Munich Olympics.
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