Italian officials have expressed serious concerns that they could face an invasion by Islamic State forces, which have been on a rampage in Libya. In recent days, Libyan ISIS terrorists executed 21 Coptic Christians on a Mediterranean beach – with the location chosen deliberately to imply that the group would be seeking to bring its brand of Islamic fundamentalism to Europe.
In a video of those executions, a masked ISIS terrorist threatens the group's next move, saying that ISIS “will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission, the promise of our prophet, peace be upon him.”
In an interview with the Associated Press, Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said that Italy was prepared to contribute as many as 5,000 troops on a mission to liberate Libya from ISIS, if Western states were to decide to undertake such a mission. However, he said, Rome was willing to wait until the UN Security Council decided on collective action. The issue of the ISIS incursion into Libya is now under discussion by the Council.
Meanwhile, an essay written by a top ISIS supporter in Libya claims that the group is readying its Jihad battle for Europe – and that Italy will be the gateway to the continent. According to the essay, discovered and translated by the Quilliam Foundation, a US anti-terror think tank, the group intends to “invade” Europe by sending terrorists across the Mediterranean on small boats and skiffs, entering southern Italy much like North African refugees have been doing for years.
According to the essay, Libya is ideal for this because “it has a long coast and looks upon the southern Crusader states, which can be reached with ease by even a rudimentary boat.” Each day, it says, each day some 500 North Africans reach Greece, Italy, and even southern Spain undetected. “f this was even partially exploited and developed strategically, pandemonium could be wrought in the southern Europe. It is even possible that there could be a closure of shipping lines because of the targeting of Crusader ships and tankers,” the essay says.
In addition, it says, Libya is “the key to Egypt, the key to Tunisia, Sudan, Mali, Algeria and Niger too.”