Present in the rhetoric of the Islamic State terror group, ISIS, from its inception, the Jihadist specter of an attack against the Pope and the Vatican was recently expressed, once again, in a video released by terrorists in the Philippines.
“Remember this, you miscreants – we shall be in Rome, we shall be in Rome, Inch’Allah!”
In a video Released on August 25, a group of “soldiers of the Caliphate” filmed themselves desecrating the church in Marawi, a southern town where Jihadists and government forces have been fighting since the month of May.
As he speaks these words, the man shreds photographs of Benedict XVI and Francis. “After all their efforts, it will finally be the religion of the cross that will be broken,” a voice adds off camera.
“The hostility of the Crusaders towards Muslims has only served to strengthen the young generation.”
Threats by ISIS against the Vatican are nothing new. This video was recently the most latest example, however it demonstrates that the phantom of an attack against the pope or of the “taking” of the Vatican City by its soldiers is still very genuine.
In fact, the use of the term “Crusaders” to designate Westerners is a regular reminder of the way the West and Christianity are used anonymously in the rhetoric of ISIS. The pope thus becomes a prime symbolic target.
Rome and the Vatican on a state of alert. Almost paradoxically, the Vatican, Rome, and Italy, in general, have thus far been spared by the spate of attacks perpetrated in Europe in the name of ISIS. However, the state of alert there is at the highest level.
On Friday, August 25, a drone flying not far from the Vatican placed the Rome police on alert.
It carried out checks and many helicopter flights above the Rome neighborhood of Borgo before ruling out any threat.A few days earlier, in an unusual development, the commander of the Swiss guard had indicated that the papal guards were prepared for the eventually of an attack and that their strength had been beefed up in that regard.On Saturday, August 26, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Vatican, admitted, referring to the video filmed in the Philippines, that these threats were a source of concern.