Vatican under threat: We foiled Al Qaeda terror attack, insist Italian police

A terror cell that has been smashed in Italy may have been planning an attack on the Vatican, investigators have said. Italian police revealed earlier they have executed arrest warrants against 18 people implicated in an alleged plot to attack targets in the West, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The “vast anti-terrorism” operation was carried out against an organisation inspired by al Qaeda, a statement said. The group was based on the Italian island of Sardinia but the operation covered a total of seven Italian provinces, police revealed. Two of the 18 were former bodyguards to Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, it was claimed.

This means that our system works.

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano

Some were smuggled into Italy where they were given work contracts. Others were given false documents to allow them to pose as refugees seeking asylum from religious or ethnic persecution, according to Italian magazine Panorama. Some were of those who were able to settle were then sent on to cities in northern Europe, the police statement said. In time, several returned to Pakistan or Afghanistan to carry out attacks before going back to Europe, Republicca quoted the statement as saying. A number of the attacks in Afghanistan were directed at US forces. The Pakistan attacks were in a bid to topple the government.