The Al-Qaeda deadline for Italy will soon pass, and Italians are getting ready. From AFP:
Police and paramilitary troops stood guard Saturday outside the Senate, the elegant Piazza Navonna, the nearby Pantheon, the Piazza Venezia, among other Rome landmarks, as well as outside the residence here of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is away at his holiday home on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia.
The daily Corriere della Sera said Friday some 200 embulances and 300 doctors would be on call — and even traffic police were being mobilized, ready for action.
A statement published in an Arab newspaper on August 1 in the name of Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades threatened to strike Italians everywhere unless Rome withdrew its nearly 3,000 troops within 15 days. The same group claimed responsibility for the bloody March 11 attack on a Madrid commuter train that killed 191 people as well as the November 2003 bombings against British interests in Istanbul in which 25 people died.
In July, a statement purporting to be by Abu Hafs posted on an Islamist website threatened Italy with a “bloodbath” similar to that of the September 11 attacks on the United States if it kept Berlusconi, a high-profile supporter of the US-led “war on terrorism”, in power.