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Jaruzelski hints Islamic forces were involved in plot to kill Pope John Paul II

Catholic World News - April 06, 2011

The former head of Poland's Communist government has suggested that Islamic radicals were involved in the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II by Mehmet Ali Agca. The suggestion drew a derisive response for the late Pope's official biographer.

General Wojciech Jaruzelski, who imposed martial law on Poland in the 1980s in a vain attempt to curb the influence of the Solidarity movement, told the Italian magazine Jesus that Islamic radicals were the "most logical" suspects for the assassination attempt. He pointed out that Agca was a native of an Islamic country: Turkey. Radical Islamists saw Pope John Paul II as an enemy, Jaruzelski observed.

George Weigel, the Pope's biographer, scoffed at the idea. Noting that Agca showed no interest in Islamic affairs, Weigel said that there is no evidence to support Jaruzelski's hypothesis. He added that Jaruzelski, the head of a regime that bitterly opposed the policies of John Paul II, cannot be regarded as a credible witness.

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