RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Wednesday August 3, 2016 – United Nations security experts have lent Brazil some of their top detection gear to help intercept terrorist communications amid concerns that ISIS is planning to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb” at the Olympics.
The Sun reports that top Olympic security officials have also borrowed The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) state-of-the-art radiation monitors, including personal detectors and portable scanners.
The equipment will be used at the various Olympic venues amid concerns that a growing number of Brazilian nationals may have started to sympathise with the terrorists.
Brazil’s counter-terrorism director Luiz Alberto Sallaberry has warned there is a “credible threat” from ISIS and experts believe a “dirty bomb” terror attack is more likely now than since the Cold War.
A “dirty bomb” is a weapon of mass destruction that combines radioactive material with conventional explosives, multiplying the force of the blast.
This type of bomb render wide areas of and beyond the explosion unusable through contamination, which would cause havoc at the Olympics.
“ISIS has already carried out numerous chemical weapons attacks in Syria,” Moshe Kantor, head of the Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, said at a conference last month.
“We know it wants to go further by carrying out a nuclear attack.”
“This, combined with poor levels of security at a host of nuclear research centres in the former Soviet Union mean the threat of a possible ‘dirty-bomb’ attack on a Western capital is high.”
He urged Russia and the United States to cooperate on using their technological resources to monitor the illegal transportation of radioactive materials.
In March, it emerged that Brussels suicide bomber brothers Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui had originally been considering an attack on a nuclear site in Belgium.
The El Bakraoui brothers, in what may have been preparation for an attack, had filmed the daily routine of the head of Belgium’s nuclear research and development programme.
Experts theorise that the brothers’ spying activities were possible preparations for a kidnapping plot to gain access into one of Belgium’s two atomic facilities.
It is thought likely that the pair only switched targets to the less well-guarded Zaventem airport and Maelbeek Metro station after authorities became suspicious.