The Vatican, headquarters of the Catholic church, and Italy have been indicated previously as possible targets of Islamist extremism. “Remember this, you kuffar, we will be in Rome, we will be in Rome, inshallah,” a supposed terrorist named “Abu Jindal” says to the camera in a seven-minute ISIS released video published by the Al-Hayat Media Center.
The video also shows several jihadists destroying church statues and ripping up photos of the Pope. The video includes a church in flames. It is believed the footage was shot in the Philippines, where ISIS touts are expanding operations having lost caliphate territory in Syria and Iraq. Commander Christoph Graf, the chief of the Swiss Guards, the force that protects the Vatican, warned it would only be “a matter of time” before the city is targeted in an attack inspired or directed by the Islamic State but insisted he is prepared for any act of extremism.
The Pope Francis
The Pope released a statement to ISIS this morning, answering the threat of holy war: “I say to the agent of terror, bring it on. We repelled you during the Crusades, we will do it again.” The Muslim faith and Christianity have had a tumultuous relationship since the creation of the faiths. Pope Francis, the 266th leader of the Catholic Church, is seen as the face of all Catholic Christians and it is no surprise that ISIS would target him with their threat of holy war.