There is no way of knowing whether the threat is serious or not. That’s part of the Islamic State’s strategy of spreading terror globally.
Brazil’s national intelligence agency has warned of the risk of terrorist attacks by Islamist groups at this summer’s Olympic Games, due to be held in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil’s Counterterrorism Director, Luiz Alberto Sallaberry, said the risk has increased due to attacks on other countries. He also said there has been a rise in the number of Brazilians sympathizing with groups like the Islamic State.
“Brazil, you are our next target” was tweeted last year by an Islamic State executioner, Maxime Hauchard, who features in the group’s propaganda videos. That tweet has been confirmed as genuine.
Sallaberry told press that security measures had been increased and that Brazil is working with other countries to protect the Olympics.
An estimated 500,000 people are expected to travel to Brazil for the Olympics.
Any threats made by the Islamic State are hard to gauge. The group uses threats to spread confusion about its intentions and to strike fear into the hearts of its enemies. However it does not have the resources to carry out as many mass casualty attacks as it would like.
Threatening various countries is a good way to leverage the terrorism it can carry out to create maximum fear. This relies on the fact that ISIS carries out enough attacks on countries around the world that any given threat has to be treated as credible.
It is by no means certain that ISIS will attack Brazil. But the fact that it might forces security services to spend extra time and resources protecting against a possible attack and projects the image of ISIS as it wants to be seen – an international menace that could strike at any moment.