Rome is on a state of high alert for Easter,
..with thousands of troops and police deployed to boost security in the capital after a series of arrests of alleged Islamist extremists raised fears of an attack.
The Islamic State has repeatedly identified the Vatican,
..the crucible of Western Christianity, as a potential target in its propaganda and has boasted of wanting to plant the black flag of the caliphate on top of St Peter’s Basilica.
The raids and arrests across the country came as Italy’s interior minister warned that up to 30,000 foreign fighters are on the run after ISIL’s defeats in Syria and that some may try to infiltrate Europe on migrant boats from Libya.
taly stands out in Western Europe for not having suffered an Islamist terrorist attack, but the arrests and raids of this week raised fears of growing radicalisation in the country’s large Muslim community.
On Thursday, police arrested five Tunisians with alleged links to Anis Amri, the terrorist who drove a truck into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin in December 2016. The attack killed 12 people and injured nearly 50.