Why is Pope Francis nixing bullet-proof vehicle for his Cairo visit?
Meanwhile, 13 suspects are arrested for plans to attack Christians & 8 jailed for planning to assassinate Egypt’s president.
It is being reported that, despite the numerous attack on Christians in Egypt, the head of the Catholic Church has shunned using an armored vehicle when he tours the nation’s capital during his upcoming trip.
…[Pope Francis] will fly from Rome to Cairo on Friday for a two-day visit intended to build on inter-faith dialogue with Muslim leaders and to show solidarity with beleaguered Christian communities in the Middle East.
Despite his vulnerability as a potential terrorist target, the Pope will not travel through the streets of Cairo in an armoured vehicle, the Vatican said on Monday.
“The Pope will use a closed car to move around, but not an armoured one,” said Greg Burke, the Vatican spokesman. “That’s how he wanted it.”
The Pope has in the past likened bullet-proof vehicles to “sardine cans”, saying he does not like traveling in them because they prevent him from engaging with ordinary people.
This is an exceedingly troubling decision, based on simple risk analysis alone. The Pope is a high-value target and the Vatican has been a long-time target for ISIS terror planners.
While instant sainthood-by-martyrdom may have its appeal, Pope Francis should consider how an attack on the papal motorcade would endanger Christians as well as those who protect the entourage. Furthermore, an attack would likely elevate tensions between Catholics and Muslims of all stripes…even those, like Egypt’s reformation-seeking President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
In fact, 13 suspected ISIS terrorists have been arrested for planning additional attacks on Egypt’s Copts.
…The announcement came as Egypt’s Christians marked Easter under tight security a week after Palm Sunday bombings claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group killed 45 people at churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria.
The “13 terrorist elements” belonged to cells preparing attacks against “government and Christian institutions” and police in four northern provinces, including Alexandria, a ministry statement said.
…Security forces also discovered two farms in Alexandria and the neighbouring province of Beheira that were used to make explosives and store weapons, the ministry added.
And Christians aren’t the only prime targets, either. There are 8 suspects in a recently discovered plot to assassinate Sisi who have been detained.
Prosecutors said that Ahmed Bayoumi and Bassem Hussein confessed to plotting to assassinate Al-Sisi. Bayoumi, allegedly the “cell’s leader”, learnt that Al-Sisi would stay at a certain hotel suite during his stay in Makkah so he and Hussein purchased chemical cleaning tools and made explosives then put them in a storage area inside the suite, Egypt’s Al-Shorouk newspaper quoted prosecutors as saying.
The suspects planned to have Bayoumi’s wife wear an explosive belt and blow herself up inside the Grand Mosque while the rest of the suspects would carry out their plot, prosecutors added, according to Al-Shorouk.
I will pray that Pope Francis has a safe and successful trip to the Land of the Nile. If he does, it will be because of Divine Intervention and the security efforts made to work around the numerous papal quirks.
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If he does, it will be because of Divine Intervention
Eh, Karl Marx now has divine powers?
There are some Egyptian Catholics, although their numbers are not large. It’s hard to imagine a motorcade with a huge turnout of spectators such as we see when Pope Francis visits other countries. In fact, it’s hard to imagine such a thing in Cairo at all. The bombing in Alexandria was aimed at killing the Egyptian Pope, the Coptic successor to St. Mark. Nonetheless, you’re right, ISIS or the Brotherhood/Salafi extremists might like to take advantage of Pope Francis being out of his ordinary milieu.
President Sisi will remember Sadat’s assassination and take precautions always.
Yesterday, Pope Frankie was lecturing the Egyptian government to mend their relationship with Islam. Does he even know who and what the Muslim Brotherhood is? I mean, other than being BFF with Obama? I think this pope needs a refresher course in recent history and how Catholic, in fact ALL Christians, are being treated by Muslims.
Maybe eschewing the armor is his way of turning the other cheek. You first Frankie!
He was lecturing the government to mend its relationship with Islam?? Egypt is a 90% Muslim country.
I don’t understand how Islam gets a pass for its genocidal imperative, while Israel gets blamed for its non-existent apartheid imperative.
Egypt was 99% Christian when the Muslims invaded. Now it’s down to 10%. That’s not due to the beauty of the message of Islam. It’s due to persecution.
“‘We can consider ourselves in a wave of persecution, but the church has gone through a lot in 20 centuries,’ the bearded Macarius told Reuters in an interview.”
(I have no idea why Reuters thought it was important to mention Macarius has a beard.)
Anwar Sadat is unavailable for comment.
my guess is that he’s stupid enough to believe all that “religion of pieces” BS he’s always spewing…
no great loss if he gets capped: maybe then the Cardinals will actually pick a Catholic to be Pope, not a Communist.
if you can’t say something nice….I’ll stop.
more power to him….
I’d refuse to be on Pope-Mobile detail in Egypt. Don’t care if you have to fire me! You wanna cruise around not in a armored car? Drive it yourself pontiff.
Its nearly criminal that he would make himself such a target in this way. Its like dangling a virgin goat infront of one of these ISIS ass-munches. Someone’s gonna get killed in the process and the Pope doesn’t even factor that into his thinking?? Heck just the VISIT to a muslim majority country is a bad idea for him. He’s a HIGH VALUE TARGET TO THEM! He should travel via Armored MRAP. These sick ISIS fucks are more than willing to stick a kid strapped with a directional car bomb along the route just to get him.
If innocents get killed by this stunt, will the Catholic Church pay out reparations to the victims and their families?
If he buys the farm, does the Pope Emeritus take back over until the Cardinals have their convention?
To take the contrarian view, I think it’ll most likely work out fine, simply because he’s probably safer in a tightly controlled military/police state than he in any of the European countries these days. He won’t be hurt unless Sissi’s government wants him to be hurt, and I think right now Sissi needs the good press from the Euro’s so he’ll make sure nothing happens.
Remember that crowd control is much easier to provide when you’ve got a couple thousand secret police who are eager to electro-torture anyone who even thinks of starting some trouble on the street.
And in defense of Sissi, that’s probably what is required to effectively govern any large arab city today.
Has the Pope asked any of the SCOTUS Women to accompany him on his trip to Egypt?