Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe warned an attack was “highly likely”
There are growing fears the Rio Olympics could be attacked with a ‘dirty bomb’ as the security operations are ramped up ahead of the Games.
United Nations security chiefs have sent their top detection gear to Brazil to help intercept terrorist communications amid concerns ISIS are planning to detonate a radioactive bomb at the Olympics.
Counter terrorism director Luiz Alberto Sallaberry said the ‘credible threat’ of an ISIS attack had increased dramatically in recent months due to the stream of terrorist acts across Europe.
Olympic security chiefs have borrowed The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) state-of-the-art radiation monitors including personal detectors and portable scanners, according to The Sun.
They will be used at the venues amid concerns a growing number of Brazilian nationals have started to sympathise with the terrorists.
Brazil’s head of anti-terrorism 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 that combines radioactive material with conventional explosives.
As well as increasing the power of the blast, it would also render areas of the explosion unusable through contamination, which would cause havoc at the Olympics.
Last month, experts warned the threat of a ‘dirty bomb’ terror attack on a European city was at its highest level since the end of the Cold War, international nuclear experts have warned.
ISIS has used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria and militants linked to both the Paris and Brussels attacks had been studying a Belgian nuclear power plant.
‘ISIS has already carried out numerous chemical weapons attacks in Syria,’ Moshe Kantor, head of 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 in the heart of Europe.
‘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 the United States and Russia, both nuclear powers, 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.
In what may have been preparation for an attack, the El Bakraoui brothers had filmed the daily routine of the head of Belgium’s nuclear research and development programme.
It is thought the brothers’ spying operation was possible preparation for a kidnap plot to force him to let them into one of Belgium’s two atomic facilities.
However, it is likely they switched targets to the less well-guarded Zaventem airport and Maelbeek Metro station after authorities became suspicious.
Also, in June, the Kurdish military warned that ISIS are planning on using using chemical weapons in future suicide bombings.
Peshmerga General Akram Mohammed Abdulrahman said that while ISIS has previously used both chemical weapons and suicide bombings separately, they are now looking to combine them.
ISIS’s tactic involves training brainwashed teenage insurgents to carry out suicide bombings using munitions containing harmful chemicals, he told Russian media.
There have been previous reports of ISIS militants using mustard gas in their attacks on civilians in Iraq.
‘Recently, the militants have been using chemical weapons and suicide bombers, and before it was adults, now – teenagers,’ General Akram Mohammed Abdulrahman told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
‘From our intelligence, there is evidence that they are prepared, so to speak, to combine these two tactics and develop a method to supply chemical weapons to suicide bombers to use on the front.