Olympic Brazil detects ISIS posts in Portuguese

(iStock)
(iStock)

Braslia - Authorities in this year's Olympic host Brazil detected users exchanging messages in Portuguese linked to the Islamic State extremist group (ISIS) in an online web forum, intelligence services said on Friday.

The warning raised security concerns about the potential existence of sympathisers of the armed group in Brazil, which was previously thought to be relatively free of Islamic extremism.

Pre-Olympic jitters had already risen after a French jihadist warned on Twitter after deadly attacks in France last November that Brazil was the "next target".

The Brazilian Intelligence Agency said in a statement on Friday that it "confirms the existence of a group and its way of operating" online with jihadist messages.

It said the group was found on Telegram, an online messaging application.

"Content relating to extremist ideologies is translated to Portuguese and reproduced in that instant messaging application," the agency said.

The group was first detected by the SITE Intelligence Group, a non-government group that monitors extremist communications online.

SITE issued an alert saying that people linked to the Islamic State were thought to be spreading messages from the group in Portuguese.

Brazilian authorities are on high alert ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro from August 5 to 21.

They say more than 80 000 security personnel will police the Games. That is twice the number deployed at the last Olympics in London in 2012.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for deadly attacks on civilians in various countries.

Authorities suspect many of its followers are radicalised and recruited online.

"The opening of this new front in the spreading of information for extremist indoctrination, aimed at the Portuguese-speaking public, increases the complexity of the job of tackling terrorism," the intelligence agency said in its statement.

"It represents an additional means of radicalising Brazilian citizens."


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
47% - 7877 votes
It's four more years for Trump
53% - 9042 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.29
(-0.45)
ZAR/GBP
21.21
(-0.22)
ZAR/EUR
19.27
(-0.33)
ZAR/AUD
11.58
(-0.18)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.23)
Gold
1898.12
(+0.00)
Silver
24.18
(-0.98)
Platinum
885.00
(-1.11)
Brent Crude
41.24
(0.00)
Palladium
2356.22
(-0.46)
All Share
55339.58
(+0.99)
Top 40
50692.28
(+0.83)
Financial 15
10790.70
(+3.99)
Industrial 25
74905.70
(+1.05)
Resource 10
52561.57
(-0.49)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo