The US has assigned more than 1,000 spies to a hush-hush mission to protect the Rio Olympic Games and the American athletes there, NBC News reported.
Hundreds of law enforcement and special-ops personnel are on the ground in Brazil, according to an NBC News review of a classified report on US intelligence efforts.
Joining the cloak-and-dagger operation are more than a dozen Navy and Marine Corps commandos from the US Special Operations Command who are working with the Brazilian federal police and the Brazilian navy, NBC reported.
According to senior US intelligence officials, 800 intelligence personnel — mostly US-based analysts — have been assigned, while another 350 are on the ground supporting American, Brazilian and International Olympic Committee efforts.
Larger military units also are on standby should a rescue or counter-terrorism mission be required, officials said.
The report documents an operation that includes all 17 US intelligence agencies and “involves human intelligence, spy satellites, electronic eavesdropping, and cyber and social media monitoring,” according to NBC.
The vast array of US operatives will work with Brazilian authorities to vet over 10,000 athletes and about 35,000 security and police personnel, study terrorists’ social media accounts and cooperate in securing computer networks, the review showed.
The US is one of 51 countries providing intelligence to the Brazilians’ counter-terrorism operation — but the American effort is second only to Brazil’s, NBC News reported.
“US 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,” said Richard Kolko, a spokesman for National Intelligence Director James Clapper, NBC reported.
A senior US intelligence official told the network that the operation has the full cooperation of the Brazilian government.
“US intelligence cooperation with Brazil has been excellent since 9/11,” the official said. “We consider the Brazilians to be well-prepared and highly professional.”
Brazilian police recently detained 12 Rio residents suspected of having ties to ISIS. Brazil’s justice minister dismissed the suspects, who had discussed attacking the Games, as “amateurs.”
Another US intelligence official told NBC News that there has been no indication of any threats against the Games, which kick off officially on Friday.