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Paris Olympics faces a threat from terrorists and Russia

A mock-up image of a drone being flown at the Eiffel Tower on the al-Ru’ud (al-Raud) Project website.

The Paris Olympics is facing a dual threat of attacks by the ISIS terrorist group and a Russian disinformation campaign, intelligence chiefs have claimed.

The disclosure follows an announcement by the terror group which has called on “lone wolves” to carry out drone strikes on Paris during the 2024 Olympics.

The terror group made an apparent bomb threat on the French capital, releasing a mock-up image of a drone being flown at the Eiffel Tower on a website linked to the militant Islamist group.

“Lone wolves’ Olympics have begun with the Will of Allah,” the post read.

Last week Russia was accused of stepping up a hybrid destabilisation campaign targeting France and the Olympics.

The Kremlin has been repeatedly accused of carrying out destabilisation campaigns in France. 

Earlier this month a report by Microsoft digital experts published found that “a network of Russia-affiliated actors” had purportedly targeted the Olympics, likely in retaliation for the restrictions placed on Russian and Belarusian athletes at the Games in response to the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.

But the disclosure that ISIS is calling on supporters to carry out lone Wolf attacks in Paris in the run up to and during the Olympic Games is of growing concern, according to one intelligence source.

He said: “The dual threat of a terrorist attack and a  Kremlin destabilisation campaign is very worrying. The Olympics is a world event watched by billions – the perfect stage for an ISIS atrocity.”

A lone wolf attack is a mass murder committed by an individual without support or direction from an organisation or leader.

Calling on these terror-motivated killings has been a frequent tactic from ISIS who have claimed responsibility for these sorts of attacks, even when there appears no obvious involvement. ISIS called for the attacks through the al-Ru’ud (al-Raud) Project – which Europol has denoted as a video streaming platform for Islamic State releases.

The website attributes the post to the Al-Adiyat Media Foundation, another known branch of ISIS which has previously called for attacks and mass murders around the world.

ISIS and other extremist groups have also handed out “attack manuals” to help their followers adapt drones to carry explosive devices, The National reported.

The instructions provide details on commercially available drones that can be easily purchased.

The manuals, which have been circulated among extremists before, have increased ahead of major global sporting events taking place this year.

It comes as France ramps up security ahead of the Olympics which is set to kick off next month.

A French gendarme walks past the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games logo in front of the National Assembly in Paris. (Source – Reuters)

Paris and 17 other cities will host the games, with additional police and emergency services on standby to act under any threats.

An 18-year-old was recently arrested on suspicion of planning to attack a stadium in Saint-Étienne during the Olympics football tournament. The teenager, only identified as Rokhman B, is a Russian national from the majority-Muslim Chechen community.

His family moved to France in 2023, officials said, and had been claiming asylum.

Authorities believe he was working with the Islamic State in Khorasan, an Afghanistan-based offshoot of the terror group.