Brazilian authorities have just arrested ten Islamic State group or ISIS “supporters” who had plans of carrying out terrorist attacks at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next month.
Justice Minister Alexandre Moraes expressed to reporters Thursday that arrests have been made on ISIS-inspired supporters, as opposed to them being part of the ISIS organization, because the ten men were of those “belonging to a loosely organized ISIS terror cell.” An assumption was given that they were merely ISIS sympathizers because all of them were Brazilian.
What’s the point in distinguishing the difference between an ISIS sympathizer or supporter, and the actual ISIS organization at this point? Should the fact that they’re not in direct contact and association with ISIS make a difference?
ISIS is, of course, an organization, but when are we going to start realizing that this is not just an organization any longer, but an ideology?
Moraes also said on Thursday,
“They were complete amateurs and ill-prepared” to actually launch an attack. “A few days ago they said they should start practicing martial arts, for example.”
Apparently, Brazilian police acted because the ten men discussed using lethal weaponry and guerrilla tactics in Rio de Janeiro next month.
Despite the obvious admission that these amateurs were a disorganized group, Moraes said that they should be taken very seriously.
Last month at a gay Miami nightclub, during the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history, the media and FBI were quick to point out that the shooter, Omar Mateen, was an ISIS sympathizer, clarifying that he pledged his allegiance to them but was not officially associated with the organization.
They clarified the distinction then, and today Moraes claimed that all ten had been “baptized as Islamic State Sympathizers online and none had actually traveled to Syria or Iraq, the group’s stronghold, or received any training. Several were allegedly trying to secure financing from the group, known by the acronym ISIS.”
We are at the point where the ideology is bigger than the actual organization. It seems as though ISIS supporters are in every country now. What should be proposed is that we group all of them — supporters, sympathizers and actual organizational members — into the “organization” because it is no longer about being directly involved with their locations in Syria and Iraq, especially if these supporters have no money or means to get there.
And it is not like ISIS is in the business of turning subscribers away — if you agree with ISIS, then you are ISIS.