Vatican City, Apr 29, 2016 / 13:44 pm
Italian police arrested four people and issued arrest warrants for two more on Thursday on suspicion of conspiring with the Islamic State terrorist group. One of the arrested suspects was reportedly plotting an attack on the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome.
Authorities said suspect Abderrahim Moutahrrick reportedly received a WhatsApp message from ISIS-held territory that read: "Dear brother Abderrahim, I send you…the bomb poem…listen to the sheik and strike," possibly referencing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Moutahrrick was identified by authorities as Moroccan-born but residing in Italy at the time.
Moutahrrick also reportedly told 23-year-old Moroccan-born suspect Abderrahmane Khachia: "I want to hit Israel in Rome."
According to Reuters, transcripts of a wire-tapped phone conversation between three of the suspects and included in the arrest warrant also mentioned a Vatican attack.