Rio de Janeiro, July 16 (IANS) Brazil has vowed to raise security to “another level” at next month’s Rio Olympics amid growing fears the Games could be a terrorist target.
The announcement came less than a day after 84 people were killed, including scores of children, when a truck ploughed through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city of Nice on Friday, reports Xinhua.
Interim president Michel Temer flew back to Brasilia from Sao Paulo to hold an emergency meeting with his cabinet on Friday morning.
Institutional security minister Sergio Etchegoyen said the government agreed that security needed to be beefed up for the August 5 to 21 mega event.
“We are reviewing our entire security plan so that we can identify any gaps and achieve more intensive integration,” Etchegoyen told reporters.
“Maybe it will be necessary to sacrifice comfort for safety, increasing revisions, barriers, and road closures during the Games period. The security of the Games have gone up a level.”
A top-level Brazilian intelligence official was also sent to Nice to investigate the “modus operandi” of Thursday’s attacker, according to the government.
And Brazil’s intelligence agency Abin also held a meeting with its French counterparts on Friday to obtain more details about the attack.
South America’s largest country plans to deploy 85,000 soldiers and police during the Olympics, about double the number used at the London 2012 Games.
The government has also launched an awareness campaign designed to foil possible terror plots.
The initiative involves the distribution of brochures, posters, and booklets explaining how to identify people engaging in suspicious activity.
In June, the government said Brazil’s intelligence agencies were working alongside counterparts in the United States, England, France, Israel, and Russia to avert the threat of terrorism.