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Pope Francis warns of ISIS infiltration into Europe

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The pontiff does not fear the militants

During an interview with a Portuguese Catholic broadcaster, Pope Francis said the humanitarian crisis could encourage humanity's conscience. 

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis stares mass migration in the face as thousands make their way from Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa and Austria in the hope of finding safety.

"These poor people are fleeing war, hunger, but that is the tip of the iceberg. Because underneath that is the cause; and the cause is a bad and unjust socioeconomic system," the Pontiff said.

The Pope's comment came in response to the topic of mass refugees seeking help. He also acknowledged the possibility of ISIS jihadists entering and attacking Europe under the guise of poor and injured refugees.

"It's true," the pontiff said, "I also want to recognize that, nowadays, territorial security conditions are not the same as they were in other periods (of mass migration). The truth is that just 400 kilometres (250 miles) from Sicily there is an incredibly cruel terrorist group. So there is a danger of infiltration, this is true."

According to The Daily Mail, security specialists don't think militants can be smuggled into Europe as easily as some would believe.

When asked about Rome's safety, Pope Francis admitted, "[N]obody said Rome would be immune to this threat, but you can take precautions."

After ISIS militants threatened Catholic targets in Rome, particularly those popular with tourists and pilgrims, security rose across Italy.

The Huffington Post reported the Italian government has been on high alert since the threats. Five hundred extra troops currently guard targets in Rome and monitor the capital for suspicious activity.

Sabrina Magris, president of the International University School of Rome and Florence -the only European institute that prepares negotiators for hostage and terror threats- said, "The risks are real ... The goal may be an actual attack of some kind or simply using threats to create an atmosphere of fear. But the risks shouldn't be underestimated."

Despite Magris' warnings, Pope Francis continues to interact with the public and has refused several security measures.


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