Catholic World News

Vatican dismisses 'unreliable' reports of plot to assassinate Pope Francis

February 11, 2015

The Vatican has tossed cold water on reports that police in the Philippines thwarted an attempt to assassinate Pope Francis during the Pontiff’s visit there in January.

A military official in the Philippines told reporters that a known terrorist, Zulkifli bin Hir, had been implicated in a plan to bomb a papal appearance. A spokesman for President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines confirmed that government leaders “were aware” of this report, and security officials were on alert, but that the warning was based on “unverified information.”

Speaking to reporters in Rome on February 11, Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, said that Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila, “who has his good sources, said the information is unreliable.”

Zulkifli bin Hir, who had been among the world’s most wanted terrorists, was killed by Filipino troops in a shootout a week after the Pope’s visit.


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