ISIS video targets Pope, Vatican, Italy

A pro-Islamic State (ISIS) video has been sent to the Vatican with a warning that Pope Francis and visitors to the Vatican could be targets of an ISIS terrorist attack.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin says he has seen two videos from ISIS over the past few days. One threatens Italy with a Barcelona-like terrorist attack. The other is more personal and directly threatens the Pope’s life.

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

As far as the Vatican is concerned, he says it hasn’t added more measures to its already high security.

Security is managed by the Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City State and the Swiss Guard.

The Swiss Guard is a small force maintained by the Holy See. It is responsible for the Pope’s safety and the security of the Apostolic Palace.

It is perhaps “only a matter of time” before Rome is hit by a Barcelona-style attack but security forces are ready in case the Vatican is targeted, the head the Swiss Guard says.

The Gendarmerie Corps is the police and security force of Vatican City and the “extraterritorial properties of the Holy See Security”.

Security has been stepped up at religious sites throughout Italy, including at the Vatican, since last year, when a truck driven by a suspected Islamist militant killed 86 people in the French city of Nice.


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