: Reuters: Brazil arrests group plotting 'acts of terrorism' before Olympics

19:04 Jul. 21, 2016

Reuters: Brazil arrests group plotting 'acts of terrorism' before Olympics

Military soldiers and police patrol Maua Square ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Saturday, July 9, 2016 (Getty Images)

Police rounds up 10 suspects, two will be brought in for questioning

Brazil arrested 10 people on Thursday on suspicion of belonging to a group supporting Islamic State (IS) and preparing acts of terrorism during next month's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Justice Minister Alexandre Moraes said.

The loosely organized group were all Brazilian citizens and in contact via internet messaging groups such as WhatsApp and Telegram, but did not know each other personally, the minister said.

Watch also Russian track and field athletes banned from Rio 2016

The group did not have direct contact with IS though some of its members had made "pro forma" declarations of allegiance to the militant Islamist group, the minister said. He did not elaborate.

"Those involved participated in an online group denominated 'the defenders of Sharia' and were planning to acquire weapons to commit crimes in Brazil and even overseas," Moraes told a news conference.

"It was an absolutely amateur cell, with no preparation at all, a disorganized cell," the minister said, adding that authorities decided to intervene when the group started to plan actions.

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