The commander of the Swiss Guards has said the elite group sworn to defend the Vatican and the Pope is prepared for a terrorist attack.
His remarks came as ISIS released a new video showing its fighters ripping up photographs of Pope Francis and threatening to come to Rome.
Christoph Graf told the Swiss Catholic website cath.ch: “Perhaps it is only a question of time before an attack like [Barcelona] happens in Rome. But we are ready also for this.”
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, told reporters he had seen the ISIS video and that “one cannot help but be concerned, especially for the senseless hatred” it represented.
The ISIS video, filmed in the Philippines, where terrorists have been fighting the government for control of the city of Marawi, also shows the destruction the group has wreaked on a Catholic church there. The jihadists brag about how they have freed inmates from a jail, with one addressing the camera saying: “Remember this, you kuffar [non-Muslims] – we will be … in Rome, inshallah [God willing].”
Cardinal Parolin said he did not believe the video prompted extra security measures beyond those that have been in place for some time.
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