Rome Boosts Easter Security Following Terror Alerts
Rome is on high alert following terror warnings that have, so far, turned out to be false.
- By Sydny Shepard
- Mar 28, 2018
Easter is considered a period of elevated risk for Rome, where thousands of people gather to watch the Pope celebrate the two biggest Christian festivals in the Italian capitol city.
Authorities have begun to tighten security ahead of Easter due to an increase in terror threats made to the city and its festivals. So far, the threats have turned out to be false, so the increase of security is out of an abundance of caution.
A "green zone" has been declared in the center of the city from Thursday until Easter Monday. Protests, parades, heavy vehicles and the transportation of weapons or explosives has been banned from the green zone and the city's most popular attractions.
Security around government buildings, busy pedestrian areas and transportation stations will also see an increase in armed guards watching for suspicious activity. The Stations of the Cross prayers led by Pope Francis at the Colosseum on Good Friday will be closely guarded as well.
Police in Rome have said that their security plan has been in place long before the false terror alerts came to light over the weekend, which included an alarm that was triggered after an anonymous letter to the Italian embassy in Tunisia on Sunday, which claimed that a Tunisian national was planning to carry out attacks in Rome. The man behind the letter was questioned at length and the alarm was deemed false.
Italian authorities said they are satisfied to say there is not "a real and present threat" to Rome during the Easter celebrations, but they will continue to keep an eye on any movement deemed suspicious.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.