Authorities on alert ahead of Olympic Games

A worker installs pavers outside the Olympic Tennis Center as preparations continue for the 2016 Summer games at Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

As Rio prepares to host the Olympic Games, authorities are on a high state of readiness. This, after the terrorist group ISIS says Brazil is next on its hit list.

Brazilian intelligence officials say there have been recent calls on the messaging app “Telegram” to wage jihad and inflict heavy causalities at the Rio games. Some security experts say these threats come directly from the ISIS playbook.

“ISIS thrives on getting large amounts of attention,” says Robin Simcox, National Security Analyst. “Attacking the Olympics would be a fantastic moment for the group and provide them with huge amounts of coverage.”

The summer games in Rio are the first ever held in South America. Brazilian officials say more than 88-thousand troops will be patrolling the Rio area, hoping to maintain safety. Well over a half-million tourists and several heads of state will attend. Nearly 4-billion global viewers are expected to watch the games on TV.

For months, Brazilian forces have staged numerous attack scenarios in and around Rio, including its crowded subway system. They’re also relying on other nations including the U.S. to share intelligence.

“We do that routinely with big events,” says Representitive Mac Thornberry. “We did it in the Sochi Olympics and so forth; we work with others.”

“Obviously, Brazil doesn’t have the history of radical Islamist terrorism, ” adds Simcox. “But ISIS is striking with such success in so many countries now, that of course it seems like an event like the Olympics could be a very clear target for them."

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