Brazil hasn't had to deal with terror attacks; that's the kind of thing that happens in Africa, or the US, or Europe, or Asia... pretty much everywhere else in the world, but not so much in Latin America.
Yes, the drug cartels are making a hot mess out of some countries, but still! That other kind of terrorism isn't really a problem around here.
But as Brazil prepares to host the World Cup in 2014, and the Summer Olympics two years later, it's something security officials have to face. Roberto Troncon Filho, head of Brazil's federal police told the AP:
"In Brazil, the (threat) level is very low, but an event like the World Cup can provide the opportunity for an attack, not against the Brazilian people, but against an international delegation," he was quoted as saying by Folha, Brazil's largest daily.
Brazil doesn't have any anti-terror laws, which could help hinder it in pursuing suspected terrorists. But the country, fresh from memories of dictatorship, has been reluctant to pass too many laws granting extra powers to its security forces.
So is al Qaeda hanging out in Brazil? Maybe, according to "reports and rumors" of shady folks on the border with Argentina and Paraguay, where smugglers and other sorts tend to gather.
That's a long way off from coming up with a plot, let alone pulling one off.
South African officials worried during last year's World Cup in their country about a possible attack, and ratcheted up security. Al Shabaab, the terror group in Somalia, even thought about trying something, but decided security was too tight. (They struck at two night spots in Uganda instead.)
It's hard to launch attacks at high-profile events. Everybody's watching. And you can bet that even if the Brazilians aren't experienced in counterterrorism, the Americans will be all over it, especially since they're really into being friends with Brazil these days. It's actually a perfect opportunity for the US to show Brazil that they really need each other.
Not to worry, Brazil. Team America will be all over it.