03:47 GMT28 February 2020
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    A group of Brazilian extremists have sworn allegiance to Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) only a couple of weeks before the launch of the Rio Olympics.

    The SITE Intelligence Group that monitors the internet reports that the extremists used Telegram messenger app to pledge their loyalty to Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

    Meanwhile, Paulo Velasco, a political scientist at the Rio de Janeiro State University and Getulio Vargas Foundation (Fundação Getulio Vargas), told Sputnik that this development is hardly surprising, as Daesh had already issued an informal call to Brazilians, seeking to recruit followers who would operate in the group’s name.

    "Brazil itself has never been a target for terrorists, but due to the upcoming Olympic Games, it has become a perfect site for a terrorist attack. Other nations have already demanded that our country increase its terror prevention and intelligence gathering activities, along with the involvement of our military and civilian security services," Velasco said.

    He also explained that the groups like the one that pledged allegiance to Daesh will keep acting like that regardless of whether they actually have ties to the terrorist group or not, "because that is their role."

    "Some people merely seek to gain publicity by feigning connections to the group (Daesh), or use the hype generated by it for their own purposes. They will keep provoking the authorities and try to gauge their reaction. Also, it should be noted that many terrorist attacks in the world are not committed by Daesh or al-Qaeda, but these groups claim responsibility nevertheless, simply to make it look like they have global reach," Velasco added.

    Nevertheless, he said, the authorities have very good reasons to stay alert.

    "One of the biggest – probably even the biggest — causes for concern is not the possible presence of a terror cell on Brazilian soil, but the so called terrorist loners. The problem is, they could be ordinary Brazilians, ordinary people who may decide for some reason to commit an act of violence against other citizens simply for the sake of enjoying terror. And because such terrorists act alone, they are very hard to detect and track down," Velasco explained.


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