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May 2022


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Tag: Pope francis

President Obama Praises Embattled Secret Service After Long Week

secret-service-3By Steve Neavling

It was as long, exhausting week for the Secret Service.

The embattled agency was responsible for helping protect Pope Francis and Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to the U.S.

President Obama praised the agency for “flawlessly” doing its job, the Washington Post reports. 

“When something goes wrong, when there’s a fence jumper, everybody reports on it,” Obama said. “The Secret Service had to manage the Pope’s visit, President Xi’s visit, and a hundred something world leaders in an unprecedented fashion during the course of the last several days. And they did so flawlessly.”

Secret Service Takes Extraordinary Steps to Protect Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

By Seve Neavling

Hotels will be equipped with bullet-proof glass. Government snipers will be placed on rooftops. And mailboxes will be removed along parade routes.

Those are among the likely safeguards taken to protect Pope Francis during his U.S. visit., International Business Times reports. 

Joseph Clancy, the director of the Secret Service, even traveled to Italy in June to prepare for the pontiff’s visit.

“Facial recognition software will definitely be being used in any area where the Pope will be,” Ronald Kessler, the author of “The First Family Detail” and “In the President’s Secret Service,” told the International Business Times. “They’ll remove mailboxes that could have explosives along parade routes, seal manhole covers, protect the underside of the popemobile and stake out evacuation areas.”

So far, authorities said there have been no credible threats.

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Pope’s U.S. Visit Presents Nightmare Scenario for Secret Service

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

By Steve Neavling

By all accounts, it’s a security nightmare.

The Secret Service is helping keep Pope Francis safe during his visit to the U.S., but it’s no easy task, the New York Times reports.

“The crowds throw things,” Mr. Clancy, who took over as the head of the Secret Service last October, told the Times. “They throw flags, dolls and, obviously, babies towards him. It’s difficult because we don’t want our agents to overreact. He doesn’t want to see an overreaction, either, but you don’t want to miss anything.”

What makes the protection even more difficult is the pontiff’s refusal to stay in his popemobile.

Pope Francis is making stops in Washington, Philadelphia and New York, and crowds are expected to grow into the hundreds of thousands.

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FBI Arrests Teenager Accused of Plotting ISIS-Inspired Attack on Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

By Steve Neavling

A 15-year-old boy accused of plotting an ISIS-inspired attack on Pope Francis during his upcoming visit to the U.S. was arrested by the FBI, the Daily News reported Tuesday. 

The teenager, who has not yet been identified, is accused of finding bomb-making directions on social media and then sharing them.

“The minor was inspired by [ISIS] and sought to conduct a detailed homeland attack which included multiple attackers, firearms, and multiple explosives, targeting a foreign dignitary at a high-profile event,” a joint intelligence bulletin by the FBI and Homeland Security said.

The FBI wouldn’t comment on the case.

“We are monitoring very closely threats against the pope as he comes into the United States,”  U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said Sunday, adding that the Secret Service alerted him to an earlier thwarted plot. “We’re all very vigilant to protect him.”

Secret Service Agents: Pope Francis Not Safe During Upcoming Trip to U.S

secret-service-3By Steve Neavling

Secret Service agents said Pope Francis’ life is in danger because they cannot adequately protect him during his upcoming visit to the U.S., WND reports. 

The agents expressed concerns over the pope’s plans to ride in an open vehicle through crowds next week in Washington and New York.

Several agents assigned to papal security confided to WND that the pope won’t have enough protection.

“He wants to mingle with the crowd, kiss the babies and be accessible to the sick and elderly,” a Secret Service source said. “With what Vatican security is demanding we do politically, protecting the pope in the U.S. visit is going to be a nightmare.”

Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent, agrees.

“Because of the way Pope Francis wants his security handled, with a more discrete presence, the pope’s visit to the United States is a security disaster,” Bongino said.

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Federal Authorities Thwart Planned Attack on Pope During U.S. Visit

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

By Steve Neavling

Federal authorities say they have thwarted a planned attack on Pope Francis during his upcoming U.S. visit.

The New York Daily News reports that Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul expressed concern about the pope’s safety in light of the planned attack.

“We are monitoring very closely threats against the pope as he comes into the United States,” he said. “We have disrupted one particular case, but as that date approaches, we’re all very vigilant to protect him.”

Details of the planned attack were not released.

“The pope is a very passionate man, he likes to get out with the people, and with that comes a large security risk,” he said.

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Secret Service Won’t Provide Security Along Bridge During Pope’s Visit

Benjamin Franklin Bridge/Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling

When Pope Francis visits Philadelphia next month, the Secret Service won’t be providing protection along the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. 

Local law enforcement have been frustrated with planning for the visit because the Secret Service had not made its intentions clear until recently.

Security planning will be headed by the Delaware River Port Authority, which has not disclosed its plans yet.

But officials said delays and long lines are expected.

“What visitors should expect is some type of law enforcement presence on the bridge to ensure those who wish to cross can do so in a safe and expeditious manner,” the Secret Service said in a statement Friday.

“We don’t have anything to do with security at the Ben Franklin Bridge. Why would we?” Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback said Friday. “We don’t control the bridge.”

The bridge is expected to be closed to traffic from 10 p.m. Sept. 25 to noon Sept. 28.

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Secret Service Prepares for Logistical Challenge of Protecting Pope Francis in U.S.

Pope francisBy Steve Neavling

It’s a complicated, logistical challenge for the Secret Service – protecting Pope Francis during his visit to the U.S.

What makes security more difficult is that the Pope loves to mingle with the crowds, ABC News reports. 

To prepare for Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to several major U.S. cities in late September, Secret Service officials, including Director Joseph Clancy, traveled to Italy in June to make the preparations.

“I went out to Rome to see firsthand how their detail works, protecting the pope and what he likes to do and how he travels within the crowds,” said Clancy in an interview with ABC News’ Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas at the Secret Service Rowley Training Center.

Pope Francis is visiting Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia.

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