Brazil Muslims support open probe into terror suspects

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SHAFAQNA – Brazil’s Muslim community on Friday voiced support for an open investigation into suspected terrorists who officials say were planning attacks at the upcoming Olympic games.

Sheikh Jihad Hassan Hammadeh who heads the ethics committee of the National Union of Islamic Entities, expressed concern about police actions against the group of 10 suspects who allegedly swore loyalty to Daesh on social media apps and planned to acquire weapons to stage attacks in Brazil and overseas.

There must be concrete evidence and transparency in the investigation to ensure that citizens and groups are not persecuted unjustly, Hammadeh said.

“The arrest of the 10 should have been announced in a more cautious way and with proof,” he said during a press conference, according to The Associated Press.

The way the arrests were announced frightened the country and could lead to anti-Muslim discrimination, he said.

The group was arrested Thursday and transferred to a maximum security prison in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, near the border with Paraguay, Federal Police said.

The 10 Brazilians, aged between 20 and 40, were part of a “disorganized” and “amateur” group and were arrested after they sent messages indicating they were to begin training in martial arts and shooting, “which was interpreted as a real threat of preparation for possible terrorist attack”, according to Brazilian Justice Minister Alexandre Moraes.

At least one suspect made contact with Daesh for initiation purposes, while another was planning to leave the country to make personal contact with a Daesh member.

Brazil’s authorities will deploy 85,000 police and soldiers for the Olympics, scheduled to run from Aug. 5-21. The number of security personnel is more than twice the figure used at the 2012 London games.

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