FEDERAL police in Brazil have arrested 10 people suspected of pledging allegiance to Daesh and planning an attack in Rio de Janeiro in an anti-terrorism operation just two weeks before the Olympic Games opening ceremony.
All of the suspects are believed to be Brazilian nationals and are allegedly members of an organisation named Defenders of Sharia, a reference to the body of Islamic laws.
Justice minister Alexandre Moraes announced the arrests and said there was no specific target for the planned attack but that the group had been in online contact with Daesh, the terrorist group inspiring waves of atrocities across the world.
The 10 detainees were apprehended across nine Brazilian states and are charged with preparing an act of terrorism, while Moraes claimed the police are still hunting for two further suspects who remain at large.
It is the first time suspected Islamic terrorists have been arrested in the South American nation and highlights another serious concern for authorities struggling to deal with stadium faults, endemic corruption, and the continuing threat from the Zika virus.
With lone wolf attacks fast becoming the most frequent and unpredictable threat inspired by Islamic extremists, the Atlantic gulf between South America and the old world no longer offers the same protective shield as in the past, and Brazilian security services will be on extremely high alert throughout the Games.