January 15, 2001
volume 12, no. 15
Terrorist Attacks Were Feared During Jubilee

Italian Interior Minister Says Indications Were 'Credible'

    VATICAN CITY, JAN. 12, 2001 ( John Paul II has thanked Italian authorities for their cooperation during the Jubilee, a year that officials said were filled with fears of terrorist attacks in Rome.

    The Pope on Thursday especially thanked the Minister of the Interior, Enzo Bianco. A day earlier, Bianco revealed that during the 379 days of the Holy Year, the Vatican was being watched by terrorist groups.

    "We trembled on several occasions during the Jubilee," Bianco told the Roman newspaper Il Messaggero. "There were moments of tension caused by credible indications of attacks in Rome by Islamic fundamentalist organizations, which also had obvious religious motives, as well as by national subversive movements."

    In regard to the latter, Bianco was referring specifically to "the new Red Brigades, the insurrectional anarchists, as well as terrorism of fascist orientation."

    A massacre in Rome by these groups was feared, "which would have had enormous significance, with the world's spotlights on the Holy Year," he said. "I can speak now, as it has finished," he added.

    Because of the fear of an attack, the U.S. Embassy in Italy was closed last weekend. Last Tuesday, Naples' newspaper Il Mattino reported that over these same days, measures had been taken, as the intelligence service also expected an attack or two on the Vatican. ZE01011221

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January 15, 2001
volume 12, no. 15
News from Rome

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