Thursday, September 17, 2015

Being Pope Francis

 This is the struggle of every person:
be free or be a slave
--Pope Francis

Terrorism Counteraction (TC/A) training taught us to think like terrorists, but that may be a fool's errand since few who have been brought up in the Western mindset can think that way.

But today, let us try and think like a terrorist.

Pope Francis, controversial in some circles, will visit the United States on 22 September. He recently held said priests could absolve women of the sin of abortion if they are contrite when they seek forgiveness. To some fringe fundamentalists, this is as bad as sanctioning abortion itself, and much as they would kill an abortion provider, so too they might try to kill the Pope. (It is not as though attempts have not been made on the lives of other pontiffs and abortion doctors.)

Feminist extremists could also see the Pope as a target for his refusal to eliminate the "celestial glass ceiling" and keeping women in support positions (=nuns) versus ordination to the forward leadership positions. To hell with being Rangers, these women would aspire to being Pope.

Add in the contingent that wants to throw illegal aliens out of the U.S. Doesn't Francis argue for compassion, and isn't he suspect of being their advocate, being of South American and not European origin? So here are three disaffected groups before we even leave the runway.

Now add in Islamic extremists and you have some real possibilities for an assassination attempt. It would be quite a coup, in terrorist-think, for any of these groups to execute a mission on U.S. soil.

The Pope would be a fine symbolic target, worthy of expending valuable western-trained operatives. If they have the assets, the Pope would be a logical target for expenditure.

What could the U.S. do to counter the threat?

  • Cancel the Pope's visit due to the threat level
  • As the head of a foreign government (the Vatican), provide him an aircraft with ECM capabilies for his trip 
  • Require the Pope to stay in unknown and unannounced secure military locations (much as President Bush hid out following the events of 9-11-01.)
  • Limit his exposure to the public

If there is anyone who wants the Pope dead, the U.S. would be a great place to kill him. This is a sad thought, but it is thinking-like-a-terrorist. 

Is anyone discussing this potential eventuality?


  1. The "Islamic" terror groups have little to no reason to assassinate him. He's siding with Palestinians and not considered to be a friend of Israel.

    I'll refrain from publishing a terror strategy here, but suffice to say, I would devise a much more means-end driven terror camapign if I was an anti-abortion extremist. With "pro life" as slogan, they must not be associated with murder, so they need at least plausible deniability when someone's being killed.

  2. S O,

    Per, With "pro life" as slogan, they must not be associated with murder --

    Yes, one would think so, but murdering a doctor for complying with the law of the land is not exactly rational. Those who have murdered abortion providers do not try and hide from their deeds. Much as the Islamists view their murders as actions taken on behalf of an appreciative god, so do the killers of abortion providers view their mission. They are martyrs for Jesus.

    Now, those who would bomb abortion clinics and take actions shy or murder may do so covertly, so as to live another day ad commit further disruptive actions. They do not get the "glory", as do the martyr-murderers.

    Onward Christian soldiers, and all that.

  3. No way Francis would agree to hiding like Bush. The pope is a former nightclub bouncer and I doubt if he would back down to any threats ( the founding father of the Jesuits would be proud ).

    A bigger threat than assassination is the anti-Francis propaganda from the right wing wurlitzer. It is already at work and will get worse after his visit.

  4. Well, an attempt on the Pope would certainly draw attention.

    What happened the last time a Pope was shot?

  5. AEL,
    even a threat of attack would be a significant achievement for a group.

  6. I want to meet one of those "feminist extremist" suicide commandos. Talk about dangerous liasons! Rrrrowr!