I would err on the side of caution.
Fears that Islamic militants could travel to Italy by sea posing as migrants – a theory for which the Italian government has found no evidence – have been heightened by Isis making direct threats against Rome.
Roberto Aliboni, a scientific advisor at the Institute of International Affairs (IAI) in Rome, however plays down the threat from Isis.
“There won’t be Isis troops at Saint Peter’s,” he tells The Local, despite the jihadists specifically calling for attacks against the seat of the Catholic Church.
Why Libya is ringing alarm bells in Italy
As Rome rings alarm bells over the deteriorating situation in Libya, The Local investigates the ramifications of a conflict across the Mediterranean.
Italy has in recent weeks become increasingly vocal about the conflict raging in Libya, pleading with its European and international partners to make the country a priority on the world stage.
While other nations have nodded in agreement that the situation in Libya is critical – the country now has two governments vying for power and Islamic militants gaining ground – the rallying cry has been left to Italy, the country which has most at stake.
As put by Raffaele Marchetti, professor of international relations at Rome’s Luiss University, “Italy has already lost a lot, and if things get worse it could lose a lot more.”
“The two countries are quite interdependent in economic terms and this situation has already caused damage. Italy has always played a special role there…it’s the western country that is most present in operating there,” Marchetti tells The Local.
The inextricable ties between the two countries endure more than 70 years after Italy’s colonial rule came to an end, cemented through trade and the exploitation of Libya’s energy assets.
But these have taken a hit in the years since Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi was ousted and killed in 2011. In November two Italian workers were freed months after being kidnapped in Libya, while last month Italy closed its embassy in the country and shipped its staff home.
More here. H/T: Fjordman