International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive director for the Olympic Games Christophe Dubi has moved to allay fears over security at Rio 2016 by claiming the plans in place are “robust” enough to deal with any threat posed at the event. Concerns over security have been heightened after a group of 10 people were arrested on Thursday (July 21) on suspicion of planning a terrorist plot at next month’s Games.
An 11th suspect then handed himself into police on Friday (July 22), while authorities have continued to warn of “lone wolf” attacks at the event in the wake of a number of incidents across the world in recent months.
The alleged plot was uncovered after police monitored messages shared by the group on social networks Facebook and Twitter, as well as instant messaging application WhatsApp.
As well as discovering details of a planned attack, investigators also uncovered evidence of weapons which had been purchased.
United States intelligence agencies said that they had no clear evidence the group was linked to Islamic State but Federal Police in the South American nation claim, however, that some members of the group were on their watch list after they accessed Islamist websites.
Dubi told Agencia Brasil that he had full confidence in the security plans that are in place for Rio 2016, some of which have had to be revised following attacks in Paris, Orlando and Nice.
The IOC official said he had seen the security measures first hand after being presented with them by those involved and had “confidence in all those participants”.
“We are confident about Brazil’s security plans for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” Dubi said.
“The world we live in has changed.
“Terrorism is no more prevalent in one country than another and I’m afraid that’s a factor we have to deal with.”
Brazil’s Justice Minister Alexandre Moraes has caused controversy following the apparent plot as he described those detained as “amateurs”, with a Federal Police source telling Reuters that his comments sent the wrong message at a time when the whole world is on red alert.
Around 85,000 soldiers, police officers and other security personnel are expected to be deployed at the Games, representing a significant increase on the amount which policed London 2012.
However, hundreds of Brazilian National Force officers have threatened to quit over poor accommodation and working conditions.
One unnamed officer claimed that dozens of colleagues have decided to return to their home states because of delayed pay and unfurnished accommodation at the newly-built Vila Carioca public housing complex.
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes has been publicly critical of the State Government in the city over their security plans, lambasting them for doing a “terrible, horrible job”.
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz