ROME– Islamic State militants are goading Italy on their social media accounts by urging jihadist recruits to go to Libya in preparation for attacks on Rome, saying the strategic location of the conflict-torn North African country is perfect.
The online propaganda offensive comes as Italian authorities ramp up security measures to protect landmark sites, outlining plans to put 4,800 soldiers on the streets in Rome and in other major cities. Counter-terror officials say they worry about attacks on newspapers, synagogues and embassies – and they are mounting extra security patrols around the Vatican.
Italy has been in the grip of growing alarm following the mass execution last week of 21 Coptic Christians by extremists affiliated with the so-called Islamic State on the Libyan shore of the Mediterranean Sea, some 480 kilometers (300 miles) from Italy’s mainland.
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