Brazilian police arrest 10 suspected of planning terrorist acts during Olympics

first_imgThe group was inspired by ISIS and mostly organized online, Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes said.He said no specific targets were mentioned, but the Justice Ministry is still investigating the suspects’ computers and cell phones to learn more about the possible plans.De Moraes said the suspects are all Brazilian nationals, and that one minor was mentioned in the conversations.Another two people have warrants out for their arrests. Authorities said they believe those suspects will be arrested soon.Read MoreDe Moraes said the group was not an organized cell, calling it “absolutely amateur — with no preparation.”The group essentially said, “Let’s start training in martial arts, let’s start learning how to shoot,” the justice minister said.He noted the group tried to buy a gun online, which no organized cell would do.Raffaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said there doesn’t appear to be evidence of a sophisticated plot.But Brazil has grappled with a host of threats against the Rio Olympics, now just 15 days away.This week, Brazil’s intelligence agency said it was reviewing all threats after a jihadi messaging channel called for its followers to target the Olympics, which start August 5.”Many (threats) are discarded and the ones that deserve attention are investigated exhaustively,” the agency said.Earlier this week, a jihadi channel on the messaging app Telegram called for attacks against the games and detailed targets and methods, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.SITE said a message was posted to “Inspire the Believers!” saying, “Lone wolf from anywhere in the world can move to Brazil now.”The message also suggested using the games to target the enemies of jihad, including Western athletes.But Brazil has vowed it will be ready to handle any terror attempt.A Western diplomat said venues for the games have been “hardened significantly — and I believe the government of Brazil has done what it can to make it very difficult to get into the venues here.”Brazilian forces have been working with French SWAT teams to simulate attack scenarios. In one drill, Brazil special forces and a police dog chase down an armed gunman to thwart a possible attack on Rio’s subway system.”There is not a specific threat,” Lt. Gen. Luiz Linhares of Brazil’s Ministry of Defense said. “You have to screen for a great (spectrum) of threat.”last_img read more

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Lawsuit to compel release of Kavanaugh docs inches forward

first_img]SALEM, Ore. — A lawsuit filed by a Democratic senator from Oregon aiming to compel the Trump administration to release 100,000 pages of documents on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is inching forward in federal court, with an Obama nominee assigned to hear it.Sen. Jeff Merkley’s lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in the nation’s capital, has been overshadowed by sexual harassment accusations against the nominee, but the case remains alive, with summonses prepared for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others, court documents show.Ironically, in 2010, Sessions — then a senator from Alabama — was the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee when he and then-committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, jointly requested documents related to the nomination of Elena Kagan to be a Supreme Court justice.In Merkley’s lawsuit, Sessions is quoted as saying on the Senate floor that the public record of a nominee “is of such importance that we cannot go forward without these documents. I hope we will get those in a timely fashion. If not, I think we will have no choice but to ask for a delay in the beginning of the hearings.”Then-President Barack Obama did not assert executive privilege over any documents, and Kagan was confirmed by the Senate.Now Merkley is asking the federal court to order the Trump administration, which has claimed executive privilege in withholding the 100,000 documents on Kavanaugh, to delay hearings until they’re produced and senators can digest them.last_img read more

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