Benedict XVI Undaunted by Alleged Attack

Holy See Expresses Confidence in British Police

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LONDON, SEPT. 17, 2010 ( Benedict XVI is continuing his planned itinerary for the present U.K. visit, despite the news that the British police arrested six suspects thought to be organizing a terrorist attack.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, explained that despite these threats, «the Pope is happy about this trip and is calm.» The four-day visit began Thursday.

The Vatican spokesman described the Holy Father’s attitude by recalling what the Pontiff said to journalists on the plane en route to the United Kingdom: «I go forward with great courage and joy.»
A communiqué issued by the Scotland Yard, the police headquarters, explained that «at approximately 5:45 a.m. today, Sept. 17, 2010, five men were arrested by officers from the [Metropolitan Police Service] Counter Terrorism Command on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.»
It reported that «the men, aged 26, 27, 36, 40, and 50, were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 at business premises in central London.» Later in the day, a sixth man, 29, was arrested at his home.
«Today’s arrests were made after police received information,» the communiqué stated. «Following initial inquiries by detectives a decision was made to arrest the five men.»
The police statement continued: «Following today’s arrests the policing arrangements for the Papal visit were reviewed and we are satisfied that our current policing plan remains appropriate.

«The itinerary was not changed. There is no change to the United Kingdom threat level.»
A spokesman of the Westminster City Council explained that the suspects are employees of a private cleaning firm in charge of the city’s streets.
Father Lombardi said, «We are fully confident in the police; it is not necessary to change the program.»
He added, «The police are taking the necessary measures; the situation is not particularly dangerous.»

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