Vatican worried by ISIS threats on Pope

The Vatican’s security remains on high alert amid new threats against the Pope. 

Pope Francis’ top aide says a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) group video that targets the pope is worrying, but notes Vatican security is already at a high level.

Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s No. 2 official, told reporters Saturday that a day earlier he had seen the video, which indicates the pope is a target. Recently, another video, transmitted on the pro-ISIS Telegram channel, suggested that Italy is the next target of an Islamic terror attack.

“Obviously, one cannot help but worry, above all for the senseless hatred that it is,” Parolin said.

But he said the Vatican hasn’t added more measures to its already high security.

The Vatican, headquarters of the Catholic Church, and Italy have previously been identified as possible targets of Islamist terrorism.

ISIS’ Longstanding Threat

ISIS has openly threatened the Pope, the Vatican and Christians on several occasions.

In March 2014, Commander Domenico Giani, head of the Vatican police force, said in an interview that ISIS threats against Pope Francis are “real” and not just media propaganda.

Threats against the Pope and the Vatican go beyond ISIS’ apparatus operating out of Syria and Iraq. They extend to “‘lone wolves,’ those in Western countries appearing to be ordinary citizens, who are more dangerous because they are unpredictable,” the security chief explained.

The Pope is fully aware of the danger, Giani said, but “is not compromising the style of his pontificate, based on closeness to the people, that is, on personal contact with the greatest number of people possible.”

The Vatican Police and Interpol exchange intelligence with each other as well as with other investigative services, receiving valuable information even from Muslim states, Giani revealed.

According to Giani, 20 of the 138 Vatican police have received “special training” that enables them to carry out “anti-terrorist actions.” Some, he said, “accompany the Pope during his international travels.”

By: AP and World Israel News Staff