Brazilians are using Twitter to comment on the threat they face at the hands of the Islamic State as their country prepares to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Game.
The Portuguese-language hashtag #SeOEstadoIslamicoAtacar (If the Islamic State Attacks) was created by Brazilian Sr. Twitteiro (@srtwitteiroo) on the heels of a news report by Reuters that quoted Brazil’s Counterterrorism Director Luiz Alberto Sallaberry as saying that the jihadist threat had recently increased in Brazil along with “the number of Brazilian nationals suspected of sympathizing with Islamic State [ISIS/ISIL] militants.”
#SeOEstadoIslamicoAtacar is trending in Brazil and across the world.
#SeOEstadoIslamicoAtacar Will be during the Rio [de Janeiro] Olympics, and I’m not going there…
— Gatinho Sincero (@gatinohsinceroz) April 15, 2016
#SeOEstadoIslamicoAtacar Kill [Brazilian President] Dilma [Rousseff] first
— Paolo Hereque (@paoloherequee) April 15, 2016
#SeOEstadoIslamicoAtacar It will destroy what is already almost destroyed…
— 100noção sdv?! (@chatopakarai1) April 15, 2016
— LCSJ® (@LCSJWrestling) April 15, 2016
#SeOEstadoIslamicoAtacar RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!
— Nany (@szNanysz) April 15, 2016
Many Brazilians joked about the ISIS threat to their nation, citing the grim state of other aspects of Brazilian life and joking that Brazilian culture is highly incompatible with radical Islam.
#SeOEstadoIslamicoAtacar You’ll have to go through the Zika virus, Chikungunya, H1N1, this heat, Protestants…
— SNAP chapolincrente1 (@ChapolinCrente) April 15, 2016
#SeOEstadoIslamicoAtacar we sing make love to them.
— KIU (@iamthayany) April 15, 2016
#SeOEstadoIslamicoAtacar I want to die to the sound of All By Myself
— Gótica Trevosa (@formigaaaaa) April 15, 2016
#SeOEstadoIslamicoAtacar I do not even leave the house. If they hit women over using a burka, imagine what they will do to women who walk naked.
— Maria (@_OlaMaria) April 15, 2016
Brazil’s counterterrorism director reportedly confirmed that an ISIS-linked French national had threatened the country’s national security in 2015.
In November, Maxime Hauchard, identified as an ISIS executioner in propaganda videos, reportedly posted a tweet saying, “Brazil, you are our next target.”
Reuters quoted the director as saying that “his agency had taken several measures to avert a potential attack, including sharing information with foreign security forces and improved training.”
“But security experts have warned that many Brazilian officials do not realize how big a stage the Olympics is for anyone seeking to sow terror, either through an attack on game venues, infrastructure nearby or the athletes and 500,000 tourists expected to attend,” adds the report.
Adm. Kurt Tidd, the top U.S. commander overseeing Latin America, told Pentagon reporters early last month that the United States was providing support to Brazil as the South American country prepares to host the Olympics.
Tidd noted that the State Department is the lead U.S. agency engaged in providing support to Brazil, adding that the United States has a close working relationship with the Brazilian military.
“We have a number of exercises that we engage in that are certainly helpful in terms of opportunities to test through procedures that they might engage in,” he said, referring to preparations being made for the Olympics. “I think you’ll see that right now Brazil is engaged in a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear decontamination exercise that’s going on right now.”
The United States and Brazil are sharing information and are making sure they can respond rapidly to threats, the admiral pointed out.
“Right now we don’t see any, but again… you’ve read the publicly published announcements of some of the terrorist organizations who would dearly love to do something that will get a big splash,” added Adm. Tidd, commander of U.S. Southern Command, also known as SOUTHCOM.
Most tweets were translated from Portuguese to English.