Security Minister Patricia Bullrich announced late last week that the government is actively working against the threat of terrorism from abroad. The notice comes ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, for which there have been some safety concerns, and following recent terrorist attacks in Europe that have left hundreds dead or wounded.
Of the potential of a terrorist attack, in a statement to Clarín, Bullrich said, “We are very well-informed, alongside the Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI), due to substantial work and intelligence analysis from services all over the world.”
According to Minuto Uno, this counter-terrorism alert is more concerned with daily public safety than with preventing specific attacks, such as a plot by alleged Jihadists that was foiled last week. A group of 12 Brazilian nationals were arrested in Rio after plotting a terrorist attack during the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Although no specific targets were designated, police are still investigating the group’s activities.
Bullrich also confirmed that Argentina will be one of the 55 countries sending delegates from its Federal Police, Border Patrol and Coast Guard to aid in policing Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics.
The last massive terror incident in Argentina dates back to 1994, when the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) in the City of Buenos Aires was bombed, resulting in 85 deaths and hundreds of injuries. To this day, the tragedy is the most deadly in Latin America. Twenty years after the bombing, there are still only popular theories rather than concrete fact to explain who and what were responsible for the attack. Those include a theory about a possible Iran and Hezbollah Plot, a Syrian Plot and a “local connection.”
Prior to this announcement, the Macri Administration launched the “Secure Borders” plan earlier this month in order to combat human and drug trafficking across Argentina’s borders, focusing this heightened security on the joint border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Starting in August, new measures will include more extensive screening equipment and technology in airports, and flight and passenger information being available more than 32 hours in advance of arrivals. The plan is supported by Interpol.