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(Italian) Leader: Terrorists Planned To Attack Vatican On Christmas
WKMG 6 (AP) ^ | December 27, 2003

Posted on 12/27/2003 10:19:44 AM PST by ElkGroveDan

ROME -- Terrorists planned to attack the Vatican with a hijacked plane on Christmas Day, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi said in a newspaper interview published Saturday.

Berlusconi told Milan's Libero newspaper of a "precise and verified news of an attack on Rome on Christmas Day."

"A hijacked plane into the Vatican," Berlusconi is quoted as saying. "An attack from the sky, is that clear? The threat of terrorism is very high in this instant. I passed Christmas Eve in Rome to deal with the situation. Now I feel calm. It will pass."

He added, "It isn't fatalism, but the knowledge of having our guard up. If they organized this, they will not pull it off."

Berlusconi gave no further details in the interview about who the intended hijackers were, where the information came from and how the attack was thwarted.

Security has been tightened around the Vatican in recent weeks amid reports that churches could become terrorist targets. During Christmas celebrations, Italian police guarded the perimeter of the vast St. Peter's Square and pilgrims entering the basilica passed through metal detectors.

The Vatican refused Saturday to respond to questions about a possible Christmas threat.

Papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said in a statement, "As in every case of suspected or valid information regarding security themes, I have no comment to make."

Berlusconi's office issued its own statement Saturday, saying the premier's remarks did not amount to official declarations.

"Premier Silvio Berlusconi gave no interview. One cannot confuse a quick exchange of Christmas greetings with political declarations," it said.

The premier also was quoted by Libero as saying he received information in November of another planned attack, on the subways of Milan and Rome.

"There were those who insisted that the stations be closed," Berlusconi is quoted as saying. "I took on myself the responsibility for avoiding certain measures. They would had the same effect on the minds of people as an attack, they would have killed us inside, with dramatic social and economic consequences.

"Terrorism wants to make us close up. I preferred to double up the safety checks."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: berlusconi; italy; religionofpeace; rome; romiyya; targets; vatican
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1 posted on 12/27/2003 10:19:45 AM PST by ElkGroveDan
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To: ElkGroveDan
I passed Christmas Eve in Rome to deal with the situation. Now I feel calm. It will pass."

I'm glad Berlusconi's feeling better. Must have been something he ate.

2 posted on 12/27/2003 10:21:08 AM PST by ElkGroveDan (Fighting for Freedom and Having Fun)
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To: ElkGroveDan
An Air France plane perhaps ?
3 posted on 12/27/2003 10:29:43 AM PST by 1066AD
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To: 1066AD; seamole; Shermy; Angelus Errare; Coop; Calpernia; JustPiper
One of those Air France planes..
4 posted on 12/27/2003 10:39:38 AM PST by Dog
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To: Dog; JustPiper; freeperfromnj; flutters; Sabertooth; Cindy; yonif; StillProud2BeFree; ...
Maybe. I have no idea how they would have made it from France to the Vatican though w/o being shot down.
5 posted on 12/27/2003 10:46:49 AM PST by Calpernia (Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does.)
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To: Salvation
Ping
6 posted on 12/27/2003 10:47:36 AM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: 1066AD
"An Air France plane perhaps ?"

==

My first thought as well. I would say it's quite likely.
7 posted on 12/27/2003 11:21:43 AM PST by FairOpinion
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: ElkGroveDan
"The premier also was quoted by Libero as saying he received information in November of another planned attack, on the subways of Milan and Rome.

"There were those who insisted that the stations be closed," Berlusconi is quoted as saying. "I took on myself the responsibility for avoiding certain measures. They would had the same effect on the minds of people as an attack, they would have killed us inside, with dramatic social and economic consequences. "

===

I bet there were similar planned attacks in the US, they were just not made public.

Berlusconi, as Bush understands that we have to do everything we can, but NOT cower in fear, because that alone achieves the terrorists goals of harming the economy.

9 posted on 12/27/2003 11:28:40 AM PST by FairOpinion
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To: seamole
Seems AQ planned one hell of a Christmas eve and Christmas day...

The attempted hit on Mushereff(sp)..

The Air France plane hitting an unknown target in the US.

A plane into the Vatican..

10 posted on 12/27/2003 11:33:00 AM PST by Dog
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To: ElkGroveDan
I have always refrained from suggesting that we bomb mecca and medina into rubble to eliminate any pretense of sanity from the sandmaggots. Mind you, I would love to see a square mile of every capital leveled in muslim terrorist supporting countries for ever act of terrorism.

In a sane world, any attack on the spiritual and cultural center of any other religion would mean the instant vaporization of all muslim religious shrines outside Israel.

11 posted on 12/27/2003 11:33:04 AM PST by Publius6961 (40% of Californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: Publius6961
In a sane world, any attack on the spiritual and cultural center of any other religion would mean the instant vaporization of all muslim religious shrines outside Israel.

Quite simple -- we should have buried every piece of 9/11 with some pork. That way AQ would KNOW that even if vaporized they will be buried with pigs. That would end the suicide concept right there and then (it worked for the British).

12 posted on 12/27/2003 11:36:43 AM PST by freedumb2003 (Peace through Strength)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: seamole
Note the choice of the Vatican as a target....they want to make this a religious war.

Even if it is not....they in their warped minds see it as one.

14 posted on 12/27/2003 11:44:59 AM PST by Dog
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To: ElkGroveDan
Attacking churches and houses of worship on Christmas? This reveals the nature of the beast we're dealing with. What do they have planned for the future, lobbing grenades into kindergarten schools?
15 posted on 12/27/2003 11:50:23 AM PST by Clintonfatigued
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To: FairOpinion
"Berlusconi, as Bush understands that we have to do everything we can, but NOT cower in fear.."

When 19 Italians were killed by terrorists in Iraq-the whole country came together. No mealy mouthed whining-guess the Italian branch of the DNC was was at a peace rally elsewhere.

AP-Nov17,2003
"Their caskets draped in national flags, the 19 Italian victims of a bombing attack in southern Iraq lay in state Monday, while tens of thousands of mourners silently streamed past to pay tribute."

"I'm here to pay homage to these boys who have fallen for a just cause," Pietro Bernardini, 76, said as he waited in line to see the coffins at Rome's Vittoriano monument. "They should not have ended up in this barbarian way."

"Another mourner, 53-year-old Vilma Zangheri, thought of the family members left behind. "They should know that all of us Italians are close to them, with the greatest affection," she said.

"The deaths of the 19 Italians - 12 Carabinieri police, five army soldiers and two civilians - stunned the nation and created a groundswell of pride in the work Italian troops are doing to help rebuild Iraq..."

"I feel pain and admiration," said Tamara Crolla, a 19-year-old student who came from Caserta in southern Italy. "This feeling has brought everyone together."

Rome officials said they expected about a million people at the public viewing... On Tuesday, the whole nation will pay tribute. The Colosseum will turn off its lights, schools will observe a minute of silence, shops will close briefly, workers will pause for 10 minutes and movie theaters will keep their marquees dark."



16 posted on 12/27/2003 11:53:09 AM PST by Wild Irish Rogue (There are no insurgents in Iraq-only terrorists!)
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To: Clintonfatigued
What do they have planned for the future, lobbing grenades into kindergarten schools?

Believe it or not .......that is in the AQ terror manual..

17 posted on 12/27/2003 11:57:20 AM PST by Dog
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To: Clintonfatigued
You might like to look this over in your spare time...it is Bin Ladens Terror Manual..

Terror 101

18 posted on 12/27/2003 12:01:18 PM PST by Dog
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To: Dog
I'll tell you, if they tried THAT to the Vatican on Christmas Day, I would be all for a crack team going into MECCA and obliterating the black quaballah, once and for all. I think Israel could do that for us.
19 posted on 12/27/2003 12:01:26 PM PST by AmericanInTokyo (NORTH KOREA is a DANGEROUS CANCER in late stages; still, we only meditate and take herbal medicines)
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To: seamole
Don't we have aircraft carriers out there that could deploy though? Our words were a war on terrorism. So couldn't we launch a counter strike with our planes?
20 posted on 12/27/2003 12:02:13 PM PST by Calpernia (Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does.)
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To: Calpernia
Why should we defend Europe......they shove our noses in every chance they get.......so if AQ decides to make one of the appeasers a target.......they are on their own.
21 posted on 12/27/2003 12:04:07 PM PST by Dog
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To: ElkGroveDan
If this had been successful, all of Europe would have been galvanized toward the War on Terror.

Hate to say it, but they won't get it until they get hit.
22 posted on 12/27/2003 12:05:18 PM PST by ConservativeConvert
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To: ElkGroveDan
I am not a Catholic, so I don't look at the Vatican as a "religious shrine".

But, having visited there, I look at it as an incomparable and irreplaceable repository for some of the grandest building, painting, art, objects, and culture of many centuries of the Western World.

When I say it is "irreplaceable", I mean just that. It is a treasure which the Catholic Church has collected and preserved for the Glory of God and it indeed gives Him and His creation the glory.

If the Islamics were to destroy it, it would simply be an atrocity beyond reckoning. If they succeed in destroying the Vatican, Mecca should be next.

Christianity can spiritually survive without bowing to the Vatican. Islamics can't spiritually survive without bowing or hadjiing to Mecca. If it were gone, they would be like a hive of bees with a destroyed nest and queen; doomed!

If they insist on that type of war, we should bring it to them and let them suffer the consequences of their fanaticism.

23 posted on 12/27/2003 12:05:37 PM PST by Gritty
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To: FairOpinion; Dog
I believe it was suspected that one of the AirFrance planes OR terrorists was bound for Las Vegas.
24 posted on 12/27/2003 12:06:47 PM PST by Calpernia (Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does.)
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To: ElkGroveDan
You know all these reported 'almost attacks' reminds me of teenage boys bragging about how many girls they've had. When in reality all they've had is 'Rosie Palm'.
25 posted on 12/27/2003 12:09:16 PM PST by vladog
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To: Dog
Even the Vatican? Now if you said, the Effle Tower....No arguements from me; but the Vatican?
26 posted on 12/27/2003 12:10:33 PM PST by Calpernia (Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does.)
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To: Calpernia
Not Vatican..
27 posted on 12/27/2003 12:12:18 PM PST by Dog
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: seamole
Bush did say we were taking the war to the terrorists.
29 posted on 12/27/2003 12:34:00 PM PST by Calpernia (Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does.)
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: seamole

31 posted on 12/27/2003 12:38:03 PM PST by Calpernia (Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does.)
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To: Clintonfatigued
What do they have planned for the future, lobbing grenades into kindergarten schools?

Too Late. Where have you been? They have been doing that for years.
I do not choose to refer to them as sandmaggots and mangy dogs lightly.

32 posted on 12/27/2003 12:59:42 PM PST by Publius6961 (40% of Californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: Dog
No, it's always been a religous war to them.

Osama and the rest of the Wahhabist clerics have always preached that the goals of Christians and Jews is to destroy Islam, and that they must fight back.

If it's not a religious war, what is it then?
33 posted on 12/27/2003 1:12:01 PM PST by Guillermo (Happy Ramahannakwaanzmas!)
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To: ElkGroveDan
You mean after the Pope kissed the Koran and condemned the War In Iraq they are still mad at him ???????
34 posted on 12/27/2003 1:15:22 PM PST by uncbob
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To: Calpernia
I don't believe that the US had ANY carriers in the Med on 12/25.

35 posted on 12/27/2003 1:38:43 PM PST by PAR35
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To: ElkGroveDan
I wonder if the french will accuse Berscoloni of fabricating this threat to help his poll numbers?
36 posted on 12/27/2003 1:54:32 PM PST by monkeywrench
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To: PAR35
If we did, what is your opinion about one of ours shooting it down since it wasn't on our land? We were taking the war to the terrorists.
37 posted on 12/27/2003 2:12:08 PM PST by Calpernia (Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does.)
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To: uncbob
"You mean after the Pope kissed the Koran and condemned the War In Iraq they are still mad at him ???????"

==

Well, he did stop short of converting to Islam and turning the Vatican into a mosque...
38 posted on 12/27/2003 2:37:08 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: Gritty
I am not a Catholic, so I don't look at the Vatican as a "religious shrine".

What an odd thing to say.

I look at the Wailing Wall and the Temple Mount as religious shrines, though I am neither Jewish nor Muslim. I also look at the structure across the street as a home, even though I don't live there.

39 posted on 12/27/2003 2:38:40 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (Fighting for Freedom and Having Fun)
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To: Gritty
Two years later, and many people here still don't get it. The terrorists would love nothing better than for us to hit Mecca. Talk like that is playing right into their hands.
40 posted on 12/27/2003 2:44:59 PM PST by kms61
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To: Calpernia
what is your opinion about one of ours shooting it down since it wasn't on our land?

No problem if it was over the high seas. If it was over Italian territory, only with the concurrence of the Italians. It would be a closer question for me if it was a US flagged aircraft over foreign territory.

Foreign flagged aircraft, over foreign soil, no request from that nation's government, my answer would be no.

41 posted on 12/27/2003 3:25:26 PM PST by PAR35
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To: ElkGroveDan
I am not a Catholic, so I don't look at the Vatican as a "religious shrine".

What an odd thing to say.

Perhaps I need to explain myself.

I don't personally look at the Vatican as a place intrinsically holy because it is the residence of the Pope and St. Peters or even some "holy" relics. That doesn't mean others don't see the Vatican as that. Some, no doubt, do. However, it is not central to the entire Christian world for it's faith. Destroy it completely (which is unlikely), and Christianity will motor on.

So, I do see the Vatican as a place of great religious significance, but not crucial for either the confirmation or continuance of faith. Others, however, may deem it so. But not me, and probably not most Christians.

For Muslims, however, Mecca is indispensible. It anchors one of the 5 pillars of their faith, the Hajj.

This once-in-a-lifetime practice of their faith, namely the crucial pilgrimage of the Hajj, is the journey required to Mecca where the Kaaba was supposedly built by Abraham. All Muslims must journey the Hajj and perform it to that specific place, Mecca. Without physical Mecca (which contains it's religious significance), Islam is rootless physically and spiritually.

This is probably why many Muslims feel if they can destroy the Vatican they will have beheaded Christianity. They don't separate the physical place from the spiritual significance. Likely, they think the physical destruction of the Vatican would be a spiritual death-blow, much as would the physical destruction of Mecca.

Without the Vatican, Christianity will survive even though culturally impoverished and visually wounded. But, the Vatican is not necessary for Christianity to either exist or survive.

Mecca is much more significant and is at the root in the Muslim faith. It's destruction would not only destroy the Queen Bee, but their belief in the omnipotence of Allah, as he surely would not allow such a centrally important place to be obliterated.

But, the destruction of Mecca would come only at the great cost of a paroxysm of violence throughout the world as the faithful Muslims vent their murderous anger on all things deemed related to that destruction. It would be a bloodletting unparalleled, period. But in the end, that nest of bees would wither and die without either the hive or the Queen. Such destruction is practically unthinkable and should only be a last, final resort to prevent a Muslim victory over the world. It would be far preferable to have Muslims willingly leave their faith than kill them.

42 posted on 12/27/2003 3:56:35 PM PST by Gritty
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To: Gritty
So, I do see the Vatican as a place of great religious significance, but not crucial for either the confirmation or continuance of faith. Others, however, may deem it so. But not me, and probably not most Christians.

Actually you are probably wrong there since "most Christians" are Catholic.

43 posted on 12/27/2003 6:38:27 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (Fighting for Freedom and Having Fun)
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To: ElkGroveDan
We are?
44 posted on 12/27/2003 6:49:14 PM PST by txhurl
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To: Clintonfatigued
What do they have planned for the future, lobbing grenades into kindergarten schools?

They are limited only by whether or not they can.

45 posted on 12/27/2003 7:16:05 PM PST by evad (Today's Liberal...proof that a bad acid trip can be very lengthy.)
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To: txflake
We are?

Don't know about you, but I am.

There are 1,342,946,000 Christians in the world. 1,026,501,000 of them are Catholic, or over 75%, so that would be "most."

46 posted on 12/27/2003 7:38:29 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (Fighting for Freedom and Having Fun)
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To: Clintonfatigued
Actually, yes. To the Islamic fascists, war to the death means just that - ours or theirs, and they fully intend to win. They are also no longer content to enslave, now they want genocide.
47 posted on 12/28/2003 12:44:50 AM PST by DarthMaulrulesok ("I bid you stand, Men of the West" - Lord of the Rings, Return of the King.)
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To: ElkGroveDan
So, I do see the Vatican as a place of great religious significance, but not crucial for either the confirmation or continuance of faith. Others, however, may deem it so. But not me, and probably not most Christians.

Actually you are probably wrong there since "most Christians" are Catholic.

Help me out here a bit. Maybe I'm looking at this all wrong.

Are you saying the destruction of the Vatican would destroy the faith of many, if not most Catholics? If so, why?

48 posted on 12/28/2003 9:13:37 AM PST by Gritty
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To: Gritty
Help me out here a bit. Maybe I'm looking at this all wrong. Are you saying the destruction of the Vatican would destroy the faith of many, if not most Catholics? If so, why?

No I wasn't suggesting that. His post implied that Catholics make up just one subset of Christianity. My point was to show that Catholics make up the vast majority of Christians (over 75% as noted above). I have not weighed-in on the implications of the hypothetical destruction of the Vatican, nor will I.

49 posted on 12/28/2003 8:08:32 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (Fighting for Freedom and Having Fun)
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To: Gritty
You continue to dig yourself deeper.

Perhaps if you stop using the word Christianity when commenting on the significance of The Vatican, and understand what it means to the Catholics of the world, your explanation may change.

Destroying Mecca changes nothing for the Muslims, other than uniting them. The place would still be there long after whatever buildings make it up are bombed to pieces.

You can't destroy faith by destroying the outward signs of that faith, but you CAN create martyrs, and unite a religion by destroying those things that it finds significant.
50 posted on 12/28/2003 8:20:55 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (The Gift Is To See The Trout.)
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