In early May, Italian police reported they stopped a planned ISIS terrorist attack on the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome.
They believe six people were involved in this plot — three men and three women. Four Moroccans were arrested. Two others, a Moroccan man and his Italian wife have apparently fled to either Iraq or Syria.
The police became aware of the plot through phone taps of conversations between members of the group.
In a transcript released to the public, one of the arrested men allegedly said:
“I swear I will be the first to attack them in this Italy of the crusaders, I swear I’ll attack it, in the Vatican, God willing.”
This isn’t the first time that the Italian police thwarted a terrorist attack on the Vatican. Last year, at almost exactly the same time, Italian police broke up an Al-Qaeda plot planned against the Vatican that may have included a possible assassination attempt on the Pope.
Nine people were arrested (Afghans and Pakistanis) in raids and police were looking for nine other accomplices. Two of the arrested were former guards of Osama bin Laden.
The group was of particular concern because it was also smuggling people into Italy with strong terrorist leanings.
Similar to the one planned this year, last year’s plot was exposed by telephone taps where members of the group spoke of “a big Jihad in Italy.”
Curiously Rome has always had a particular fascination to Muslim extremists. Similar to Christianity, they have an end-times eschatology where a Muslim messiah called Mahdi will rise up and set up Islamic rule world-wide.
In a video release last year by ISIS, after they beheaded 21 Coptic Christian men on the shores of the Mediterranean, one of the extremists pointed his bloodied finger across the sea saying, “We will conquer Rome.”
The reason for this interest in Rome is that some believe that the Mahdi will only come once Rome, Istanbul, Turkey and Jerusalem are under Muslim control.
Istanbul already is. Some would argue that Jerusalem is half under Muslim control with 55% of it population Muslim and many in the UN are pushing Israel to cede Jerusalem to the Muslims.
Of course, Rome is not at all.
The extremists always cite the crusades to justify their hatred of Rome, but an honest look at history reveals that Rome’s handful of crusades pales to the hundreds of attacks the Muslims launched against Europe during this period.
The video below graphically compares the Muslim attacks with the crusades:
- Italy nabs four suspected in ISIS plot to attack Israeli embassy, Vatican: Jerusalem Post
- Plot to attack Vatican, Israeli Embassy in Rome thwarted; four suspects linked with ISIS arrested: Gospel Herald
- Italian police thwart ISIS attack on Vatican, Israeli Embassy: Breaking Israel News
- Italian police say terror suspects ‘planned Vatican attack: The Telegraph