Italy Steps Up Security Over Alleged ISIS Plot to Kill The Pope


WORLD NEWS 08.28.14
Italy Steps Up Security Over Alleged ISIS Plot to Kill The Pope
Vatican scoffs at threats that Pope Francis is “in the crosshairs” of ISIS as Italy issues a terrorist threat and tightens security.
VATICAN CITY — As Pope Francis continues to straddle the fine line between calling for the end of persecution of Christians in Iraq and blessing American airstrikes against the Islamic State (also known as the “Caliphate,” ISIS, or ISIL), there is increasing concern for the pontiff’s—and the public’s—safety.

Earlier this week, the Roman newspaper Il Tempo published a disturbing report that Francis is “in the crosshairs” of ISIS for “bearing false witness” against Islam. Citing anonymous sources within Italy’s intelligence community and pointing to notable heightened security in Rome, the paper went on to say that ISIS plans to heat things up by “raising the level of confrontation” with Europe, Italy and very specifically Pope Francis, the “greatest exponent of the Christian religions.” The Vatican downplayed the concerns, calling them unfounded despite growing concern in Italy that it is not just the Pope who is under threat. “There is nothing serious to this,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told Catholic News Agency. “There is no particular concern in the Vatican.”

The Italian government apparently begs to differ. Earlier this week, Italy’s deputy interior minister Filippo Bubbico said that Italy and the Vatican are equally at risk after authorities issued a terrorism alert, warning ISIS could launch terrorist attacks on what they referred to as “sensitive targets” in Rome and elsewhere, specifically pinpointing embassies to both Italy and the Holy See, Catholic churches, bus and train stations, sea ports, airports and travel agencies. Other security measures include restricting air space above Vatican City and Italy’s foreign ministry, in addition to stepped up police presence in public transportation hubs and busy tourist sites like the Coliseum, the Spanish Steps and St. Peter’s Square. “ISIS poses an international and European security threat and we in Italy feel particularly exposed,” Bubbico told Italian SKY news.

“Our goal is to make sure that even the Vatican will be Muslim.”
The terrorism alert came the day after Italy’s parliament approved a measure to start shipping weapons to help arm Kurdish peshmerga troops fighting ISIS—a promise made by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi on a state visit to Iraq earlier this month. Sicilian seaports that will facilitate the shipment have already stepped up security measures, especially on incoming vessels.

Since the terrorist alert and heightened security, at least five suspected potential jihad fighters were arrested near Venice this week as they prepared to leave for Iraq. Italy’s leading Corriere della Sera newspaper reported that at least 50 Italians are now known to be fighting with ISIS, pointing out that 80 percent are “very Italian” and only 20 percent are sons of immigrants, dispelling fears among some Italians that a spike in illegal immigration has somehow played a role in the recruitment of young people. Instead, the rise in recruits from Italy is fueled by “disillusionment with the future,” “distrust in the Catholic Church,” and “boredom,” according to the paper, which said all the known fighters are men between the ages of 18-25.

By no coincidence, perhaps, the bulk of the known ISIS foreign fighters from Italy hail from the northern regions where the controversial jihadi recruiter Imam Bilal Bosnic worked until Italy’s counterterrorism police started investigating him last year. Bosnic has admitted to trying to recruit converted Italian Muslims to fight with and finance ISIS. According to police investigating the five alleged jihadi fighters in Venice, Bosnian Imam Ismar Mesinovic also worked to recruit young Italians and was a close associate of Bosnic. Mesinovic was killed in battle in Syria last year after taking his two-year-old son with him to fight, according to police reports and interrogations with his wife, who is searching for information about the whereabouts of her young child.

Bosnic, who is now in Bosnia, gave an extensive interview to La Repubblica that ran on Thursday, in which he defended his recruitment technics as war tactics. He said that Greta Raminelli and Vanessa Marluzzo, two Italian aid workers currently being held in Iraq, “deserved to be kidnapped because they were interfering with the Muslim state,” adding that “it is the duty of every good Muslim to be involved in some way in the jihad, fighting, helping, giving assistance each according to his ability, even with financing.”

He also told the paper that journalist James Foley deserved to die and that they will one day conquer the Vatican. “Foley was a spy. This is widely known. Killing is justified in some cases. In Islam it is acceptable to kill a prisoner if in some way this can be scary to the enemy. I understand that may sound terrible but we are fighting a war, that was a war tactic,” he said. “We Muslims believe that one day the whole world will be an Islamic state. Our goal is to make sure that even the Vatican will be Muslim. Maybe I will not be able to see it, but that time will come.”


Vatican officials denied this week that Pope Francis is a target of ISIS, but the Italian government is stepping up security across the nation as it continues to collect intelligence on the growing terrorist group.

“There is nothing serious to this,” spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi S.J. told Catholic News Agency in responding to a claim made by Italy’s Il Tempo newspaper. “There is no particular concern in the Vatican. This news has no foundation.”

Claiming the pope was under threat, the original Il Tempo report published Monday drew upon an unnamed source who said a number of Muslim jihadists had entered the country.

Francis: Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.

The source said the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, considers the pope “the greatest exponent of the Christian religions” and the “bearer of false truth.” Because of this, Islamic fundamentalists led by self-proclaimed Caliph Al-Baghdadi seek to “raise the level of confrontation” by putting Pope Francis “in the crosshairs.”

The source did not say if the threat was a reaction to Pope Francis’ admission earlier this month that “it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor,” referring to U.S. airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq. At the time, the pope was rigorous with his comments, saying “I underscore the verb ‘stop.’ I don’t say ‘to bomb’ or ‘make war,’ [but] ‘stop.’”

While the Vatican says it remains unalarmed, several Italian news agencies said the government was nonetheless tightening security across the country.

The Daily Beast reported that deputy interior minister Filippo Bubbico is concerned about “sensitive targets” including the Vatican, embassies to both Italy and the Holy See, Catholic churches, transportation hubs, as well as historic landmarks like the Coliseum.

“ISIS poses an international and European security threat and we in Italy feel particularly exposed,” Bubbico told Italian reporters at Sky News.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that at least 50 Italians are known to be fighting with ISIS, most of them under the age of 25. Jihadi recruiter Imam Bilal Bosnic is said to have recruited many if not most of the fighters from Italy’s northern regions.

Bosnic told La Repubblica in an interview published Thursday that James Foley, the American journalist publicly beheaded by ISIS, “was a spy” and called the killing “justified.”

He also confirmed that the Vatican was a target.

“We Muslims believe that one day the whole world will be an Islamic state. Our goal is to make sure that even the Vatican will be Muslim. Maybe I will not be able to see it, but that time will come,” he said.

Bosnic was investigated last year by Italian counterterrorism officials, and now resides in Bosnia.

Italy has recently waded into the ISIS conflict in Iraq, with parliament recently approving a measure to ship weapons to the country’s Kurdish population. Kurdish peshmerga troops have also been assisted by the U.S. as they’ve fought back against encroaching ISIS fighters.


IF this is true, this is a bad move by ISIS. If they were to attempt it - an even WORSE move. If ISIS SUCCEEDED in martyring His Holiness - that would be disasterous. Here’s why…

Currently, most of the world does NOT see ISIS as “their” problem. “ISIS is a problem for a distinct minority in Iraq and Syria, and no danger to us;” they say. An attempt to attack a target OUTSIDE the current ‘combat zone’, especially in Europe, would raise serious alarms in Europe and the rest of the Western World. If Pope Francis can be threatened (or even assasinated!), who is to say YOU couldn’t be next? That would get the world’s attention; and NO liberal left-wing agenda newspaper or media outlet could sweep THAT under the rug!

Pope Francis is still a media darling, and I think that if he were to die at the hands of these monsters, there would be a massive outcry for military action. Not only from practicing Catholics and other Christians; but even from hard-core liberals (pro-choice types and gay-marriage types) who see him as some kind of hero for supposedly reigning in the Church’s “persecution” of their views. Having lost what they consider to be an ally, they would want a pound of flesh, too. After all, who’s to say what the NEXT pope would be like? THEY would be very upset if anything happened to this pope.

With such an outcry for action, it would be very possible that another full scale invasion of Iraq, and even an incursion into Syria could happen. ISIS may be shaddowy and slippery; but many American soldiers and marines are pretty battle-seasoned and know how to combat the cowardly jihadi tactics of ISIS and their ilk. In addition to being seasoned in Middle-Eastern warfare; The US and it’s allies would have TRUE friends in the combat zone in the Kurds and Christians (this was NOT the case in other areas of Iraq); and the likelihood of a Kurd or Christian shooting an American soldier in the back are almost non-existant. True co-operation from the locals make a military campaign FAR more likely to be successful, and the Kurds and Christians won’t be scared into not helping the US.

ISIS would be poking the bear, so to speak. Potentially a very bad move for them. Airstrikes are ALREADY hurting them, and this would do nothing but make their problems worse.

Bad idea, ISIS. Leave the pope alone.


I agree with everything you say here but we are not dealing with “normal” people. ISIS seems to love the attention that are receiving from the western media and even an attempt on the Holy Father’s life would bring even more validity to their cause; more recruits from all over the world. They may actually want another crusade, so to speak. These are desparate, violent men who want vengence on the infidels who they believe have wronged them.



Honestly, Patti… I have wanted for years for these people to emerge from the shadows and fight us out in the open so that they can be (ahem) brought to justice.

They have no honor. They have no courage. They say they fight for GOD; but cover their faces like the gutless pigs they are. They rape the women and the children and do so in the name of “allah”. The supposed leaders of this “religion of peace” have NOT condemned their atrocities; and have given consent by their silence.

If they wish to die a martyr’s death; they may get their chance.

Someday the civilized world will emerge from it’s slumber and conquer this menace once and for all. It’s only a question of when will we stop telling ourselves the lie that “everyone else wants to live in peace and harmony just like we do”?

They don’t want to be tolerated. They don’t want to be accepted. They want us all under their sandals. Eventually even the stuffed shirts in Washington, London, Paris, and Berlin will have to accept that.

And they will have to deal with it.


Yes, I do not understand the liberal notion of tolerance & diversity that allows acceptance of a religion that treats women like they are less than human or like property. That alone should set the feminists hair on fire. But you don’t hear a peep out of them. Who calls the shots on what is acceptable to them (liberals)? But that’s another subject for another day.


When they are “personally” affected (beheadings in the United States of women and children); that’s then they will have had enough.


I hope the Vatican takes this threat seriously.
They have witnessed the murderous rampage against Christians in Iraq and Nigeria.


Greetings to you Rfournier. I agree that there hasn’t been a lot of condemnation among Muslim leaders of ISIS. However, there has been some condemnation of ISIS among Sunni Muslim leaders. I specifically say Sunni because ISIS is a radical Sunni Muslim terrorist group. Here are some Youtube videos where Sunni Muslim leaders condemn ISIS:

Also, I know that Youtube is not considered to be a very reliable source for such things but these videos do appear to be authentic.

That said, I must say that I strongly and vehemently condemn the actions of ISIS. They must be stopped as Pope Francis has said! They are a very serious threat to not just the Middle East but to the entire world and I hope and pray that everyone wakes up to this fact very soon. It seems that many here in the western world are sitting on their hands thinking that ISIS is not a threat to us. They are wrong. Believe me, they are a huge threat to the western world including Europe and the United States. If someone doesn’t put a stop to them, there will eventually be a terrorist attack in Europe, the United States, Canada, or some other part of the western world.

That said, I really hope that the Vatican will take this threat seriously. They need to take action to protect the Vatican and Pope Francis from terrorism. I do not like how they do not consider it to be a serious threat. They do need to consider it to be a serious threat.

I honestly hope and pray that there is a full scale invasion of Iraq soon so that ISIS can be wiped out. I do not typically wish for war but in this case it would be justified. The radical Muslim terrorists of ISIS truly believe that eventually the entire world will be under an Islamic caliphate and they will work to achieving that goal. That is why we must eliminate them.

I will also say that rather than hating Muslims we should pray for them. We should pray for their conversion to Catholicism. If they are converted to Christ and to His Church then they will likely become peaceful. We need God’s help to fight this plague which is afflicting the Middle East and which will eventually plague the western world if we are not careful to eliminate this terrorist group.

Another thing that is bothering me is the silence in the western world concerning ISIS. I just watched a video earlier in which Cardinal Wuerl condemned the silence about this and urged everyone to speak out. Part of stopping this atrocity includes speaking out against them. We cannot remain silent.


Unfortunately I fear that you are right and I feel that this approach is stupid if not delusional. If we do not deal with ISIS now they will commit terrorist attacks against the western world eventually. These Muslim fanatics are more than just barbaric. They are so evil that I have to wonder if some of them aren’t demonically possessed.


Yes, the love affair between the Western left and Islam is so strange to me. Their basic values are 180 degrees apart. Is it just because Islam is traditionally a non-Western religion??

And I do worry about an ISIS hit on the Vatican or some other major target - Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, Manhattan, etc.,etc. I think their capacity for destruction is pretty limitless. The Pope is definitely a target; he has been such a loud mouth in defense of their victims ;). I don’t see him backing off though. We shouldn’t either.


How can anyone in their right mind not know the Pope is a target for all kinds of nuts.:mad:

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