By Debbie Gregory.
U.S. intelligence has assigned more than 1,000 spies to protect the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Hundreds of law enforcement agents, analysts and special operations personnel are in Rio, along with over a dozen highly trained Navy and Marine Corps commandos from the U.S. Special Operations Command, who are working with the country’s police and navy. The U.S. military has also placed larger military units on call, should a rescue or counterterrorism operation be needed, according to officials.
According to a highly classified report on U.S. intelligence efforts, an operation that includes all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies are at the games and working with Brazil to vet more than 10,000 athletes and 35,000 security and police personnel, watch over terrorists’ social media accounts and cooperate in securing computer networks.
“U.S. intelligence agencies are working closely with Brazilian intelligence officials to support their efforts to identify and disrupt potential threats to the Olympic Games in Rio,” Richard Kolko, a spokesman for National Intelligence Director James Clapper, told NBC News.
Brazilian police recently arrested 10 people suspected of planning an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack; however, Brazil’s justice minister dismissed them as “absolutely amateur.” Thus far, there is no sign of a credible plot to attack the Olympic Games, which start with Friday’s opening ceremonies.
While the Unites States is one of 51 countries supplying intelligence to the Brazilian counter terrorism effort, the effort is second only to the Brazilians’ operation.
According to senior U.S. intelligence officials, 800 intelligence professionals, mostly analysts operating in the U.S., have been assigned and another 350 are on the ground supporting U.S., Brazilian and International Olympic Committee efforts.
Each branch of the U.S. military services has athletes participating in the games in events such as shooting, boxing, and wrestling.