Mr Cannistraro says the al-Qaida terror network will attempt an attack during the festive season in revenge for the West's bombing of Afghanistan during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. "The Pope is the prime target because the US continued to bomb during Ramadan," Mr Cannistraro warns. "He looks at the Pope as the symbolic head of the crusaders and a natural target."
Terrorist experts believe an earlier plot on the Pope's life by Islamic extremists was foiled in 1995 when he visited the Philippines.A spokesman for the Vatican told Ananova: "We never comment on the security arrangements of the Pope."
Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper says US Intelligence have uncovered plans to assassinate John Paul II at least 3 times in the last five years. Former US President Bill Clinton confirmed the failed plot in the Philippines to kill the Pontiff by a kamikaze pilot crashing a small plane onto the Pope's car. The pilot had been trained in a flight school in the US.