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Italy deploys 1,800 soldiers in response to possible ISIS attacks on Vatican and Italy

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Italy seriously worried about Islamic States increasing presence in Libya

Because of the growing power of the Islamic State in Libya, as well as threats made by the group against the Vatican and Pope Francis, security across Italy and the Vatican has been stepped up, officials revealed on February 18.


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By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
2/21/2015 (5 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Islamic State, Italy, Vatican, Pope Francis, Islam

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Italian cabinet has approved new security measures, and the head of the Swiss Guard is also increasing precautions to ensure that Pope Francis is safe.

Please join Pope Francis is a global day of prayer to halt the Persecutions of Christians in the Middle East and around the world.

"What happened in Paris with the Charlie Hebdo attacks could also happen at the Vatican. We are ready to intervene to ensure Francis is protected," said Cristoph Graf, an official with Vatican security, during an interview with an Italian newspaper.


"We have asked all the Swiss guards to be more attentive and to carefully monitor the movement of people," he said.

One challenge with protecting the Pope is his people-friendly manner. He often deals close and personally with people during his public visits.

"He does not like having security too close to him. We have to respect that and keep our distance," Graf said.

Part of the increase in security throughout Italy is an increase in the number of soldiers who are on anti-terror duties, up to 4,800 from 3,000.

Some sources within Italy report that the upcoming Expo 2015 world fair in Milan could be a prime target for Islamist Militants, either working directly for the Islamic State or as lone wolves. The foreign ministry in Rome, the Vatican and numerous synagogues throughout Italy have also been viewed as potential targets.

February is a month for love and devotion.

"The risk of an attack by a lone wolf or an unbalanced person is concrete," said a member of the Copasir parliamentary committee which directly oversees the Italian secret services, Felice Casson.

"The more successful attacks in other countries there are, the greater the risk of someone trying to emulate them in Italy," he said.

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