ISIS militants see the Vatican as a prime target because it represents Christianity and the West.
The Islamic State has threatened to attack the Vatican on Christmas, in what they are calling a “Christmas blood” attack.
In a propaganda video released by ISIS supporters, a masked figure is shown driving toward the Vatican with a gun and a backpack, supposedly containing a bomb. The video is accompanied by the words “Christmas blood. So wait…”
According to Fox News, Christmas is historically a time when ISIS has stepped up their attacks. One such attack occurred in 2015, when a terrorist who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State carried out an attack in San Bernardino, California which killed 14 people.
The terrorist group is especially looking for opportunities to be on the offensive since they are losing more and more ground in the Middle East, the seat of their so-called “caliphate.” Terror experts have warned that, because the Islamic State has lost territory they previously controlled, they may focus their efforts on isolated attacks in various parts of the world.
ISIS militants see the Vatican as a prime target because it represents Christianity and the West. Security is being stepped up in the Vatican and in other places around the world as the holiday season approaches.
In February 2015, ISIS had posted a video online of the beheadings, which sparked air strikes from Egypt against ISIS units in Libya.
The bodies of 21 Coptic Christians who were beheaded by ISIS have been found in a mass grave in Libya, according to Libya’s interior ministry.
The men had been killed more than two years ago on a beach near Tripoli, the Agence French Presse reported. In February 2015, ISIS had posted a video online of the beheadings, which sparked air strikes from Egypt against ISIS units in Libya.
ISIS fighters had kidnapped the Christians in separate incidents in Libya from December 2014 to January 2015, The Christian Post reported.
“The heads are separated from the bodies clad in orange jumpsuits, hands bound behind the back with plastic wire,” said the Libya’s interior ministry unit for fighting organized crime in the city of Misurata.
Authorities found out about the mass grave after ISIS prisoners confessed to the killings.
Twenty of the bodies were determined to be of Egyptian descent, while one body was found to be of an unknown African nationality. The remains have been transferred to Misurata for forensic examination.
Egyptian officials have been notified of the finding of the remains, which will be returned to Egypt.
Last month, an Egyptian court sentenced seven people to death over links to ISIS units in northwest Egypt and the killings.
Earlier this year, International Christian Concern reported that the relatives of those who were killed were proud that their family members stood up to ISIS in the name of Christ.
One wife said her husband “kept the faith, and was martyred for Christ.”
“His faith was very strong,” she said. “I’m proud of him. He has lifted our heads up and honored us and all the Christians.”