Relaymedia

Plot to Attack Vatican, Israeli Embassy In Rome Thwarted; Four Suspects Linked with ISIS Arrested

( [email protected] ) May 05, 2016 03:41 PM EDT
Italian police thwarted the alleged plot to "attack" the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome with the arrest of four people, all Moroccan nationals, for conspiring to join the Islamic State Thursday last week.
Milan prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli in a news conference following the arrest of four people suspected having link with IS. AP Photo

Italian police thwarted the alleged plot to "attack" the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome with the arrest of four people, all Moroccan nationals, for conspiring to join the Islamic State Thursday last week.

They were six of them -three men and three women one of whom is Italian, who had slipped the country with the other member to Iraq and Syria, and are still on the loose.

Milan Prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli said the transcript of a wire-tapped phone conversation between three of the suspects indicated their link with Islamic State because they were discussing possible attacks on the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome.

The arrest warrant for the suspects was issued by the transcript, and Romanelli said: "We are not talking about a generic indication (of attack) but a specific person being appointed to act on Italian soil."

After the terrorist attack in France and Belgium, Italy and the other neighboring countries have tightened security resulting to the arrest of people suspected having an inclination with IS ideology or were planning assaults.

Last month police arrested and detained a 22-year-old Somali asylum seeker who worked as an imam on suspicion of planning an attack in Rome.

One line of the transcript read as "I swear I will be the first to attack them in this Italy of crusaders, I swear I'll attack it, in the Vatican God willing."

In the same conversation, one of the three suspects said he wanted to hit the Israel embassy in Rome and that he has an Albanian contact to provide him weapons.

"Rome attracts attention because it is a destination for Christian pilgrims," the prosecutor added.

A lawyer appointed to represent two of the suspects chose to refrain from commenting on the charge until he gets hold of the court documents.