Friday, April 24, 2015

Italian police round up Muslim terror suspects in failed Vatican plot, deadly Pakistan attack

(Fox News) Italian security forces were rounding up 18 Islamic extremists Friday who prosecutors said were behind a failed 2010 plot to attack the Vatican as well as a bombing at a Pakistan market that killed more than 100 a year earlier.

Prosecutor Mauro Mura told reporters in Cagliari, Sardinia, on Friday that wiretaps indicated the suspected terrorists, including two former bodyguards for Usama bin Laden, planned a bomb attack at the Vatican and went as far as to send a suicide bomber to Rome. Mura said the attack plans never went further and that the suicide bomber left Italy, though it wasn't clear why.

“We don’t have proof, we have strong suspicion,” Mario Carta, head of the police unit leading the investigation, said when asked for more details on a possible attack against the seat of the Catholic church.

Authorities said nine suspects had been caught, and another nine were being sought, three of whom were believed to still be in the country. One of the suspects arrested Friday had a construction business in Sardinia that participated in work for a Group of Eight summit planned for Sardinia but that was later moved to quake-stricken Aquilia, in Abruzzo to boost reconstruction. Another was an imam in the northern province of Bergamo.

Vatican secretary of state Pietro Parolin said the threat is chilling, even if it is old.

"We are all exposed and we are all afraid," Parolin said. "But the pope is very calm for this, it's enough to watch him meeting people with great clarity and serenity."