Bulletproof glass reduces fear of attack (but no guns)
Saturday 18 September 2010
The Vatican last night played down concerns for the Pope's safety following the arrest of six men in an alleged terror plot against him. Father Lombardi, the Vatican's spokesman, insisted there was no need to review his security detail after the arrests in central London in the early hours of yesterday morning.
If the security scare shook the Pope, he showed no concern has he toured the capital in his Popemobile. Like any other public figure, he is a target, but he is well protected. For the past five centuries, Popes have been guarded by the Swiss Guard, who, in St Peter's Square in 2007, wrestled to the ground a young German who had tried to leap on to Pope Benedict's open-top jeep.
In the UK, security men run alongside the Popemobile as it moves through the crowds. There is another travelling in the vehicle itself. The glass on the Popemobile is bulletproof – a lesson drawn from the last serious attempt to kill a Pope, when a Turkish petty criminal named Mehmet Ali Agca opened fire on the vehicle as it passed through St Peter's Square, hitting Pope John Paul II four times.
When the same Pope visited Peru, in 1988, a security company was asked to create a vehicle that could withstand a terrorist attack. Early designs included gun ports. "That was dismissed by the Vatican," said a spokesman. "It was decided it wouldn't look good for the Pope to fight back."
- 1 Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
- 2 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 3 Group of students refused entry to Leicester nightclub 'because they are black'
- 4 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 5 Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: Dublin in party mood ahead of historic poll result
Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...