Pope Francis’ security will not be stepped up during his trips to Albania and Turkey despite alleged assassination threats by the terrorist Islamic State, reports The Tablet.
Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi SJ said there was “nothing serious” in the threats, which were revealed by the Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Nazione on Tuesday.
Fr Lombardi confirmed that the Pope would travel in the same open-top car he uses in St Peter’s Square in Rome while he is in Albania this weekend. He added: “There is no particular concern in the Vatican. This news has no foundation."
Habeeb Al-Sadr, who has been the ambassador since 2010, told the newspaper that he did not have intelligence about a specific forthcoming attack, but warned that IS’ “genocide” of Iraqi Christians indicated their intent to wipe out Christianity.
“What has been declared by the self-proclaimed Islamic State is clear – they want to kill the Pope. The threats against the Pope are credible," he said.
He continued: "I believe they could try to kill him during one of his overseas trips or even in Rome. There are members of ISIL who are not Arabs but Canadian, American, French, British, also Italians.”
Isil wants to assassinate Pope, says Iraqi ambassador to Vatican (The Telegraph)