By Jonathan Watts
Fifteen days before the Olympics opening ceremony, Brazilian police have arrested 10 alleged Islamic State sympathisers who are suspected of planning an act of terrorism during the games. Two others are still at large.
The Brazilian justice minister, Alexandre Moraes, described the suspects – all of whom are Brazilian – as “absolutely amateur and unprepared”, but he said they had sworn allegiance to Islamic State, celebrated the recent attacks in Orlando and Nice, and some of them had tried to buy AK-47s.
He provided few details of those involved but said they were spread across 10 states, had a leader in Curitiba, and kept in touch by the WhatsApp and Telegram messaging services.
“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,” the minister told a news conference.
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