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Viewing cable 08ROME1541, REQUEST FOR CRISIS MANAGEMENT TRAINING FOR VATICAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ROME1541 2008-12-19 08:08 2010-12-10 21:09 SECRET Embassy Rome
VZCZCXRO0565
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHRO #1541 3540856
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 190856Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY ROME
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1346
INFO RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN IMMEDIATE 0826
S E C R E T ROME 001541 

SIPDIS 

S/CT FOR ATA PROGRAM MANAGER MIKE MILLER 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/18/2013 
TAGS: PTER ASEC VT
SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR CRISIS MANAGEMENT TRAINING FOR VATICAN 

REF: STATE 128554 

Classified By: Classified by DCM Liz Dibble for reasons 1.4 (b) and 
(d). 

1. (U) This is an action request. See para 3. 

2. (SBU) Action request: Embassy Vatican requests the 
Department to explore designing and funding a crisis 
management tabletop exercise with the Vatican security 
services. The purpose of the exercise is twofold: first, to 
enhance the Vatican's ability to respond to a crisis; and, 
second, to foster a dialogue with the Vatican on 
counter-terrorism. Al-Qaeda has publicly identified the Pope 
and the Catholic church as an enemy ("Crusaders"), and 
Vatican City attracts hundreds of thousands of American 
citizen visitors each year, both tourists and pilgrims. For 
example, the Vatican museums welcome up to 25,000 visitors 
each day, a substantial number of whom are U.S. citizens. 
The RSO, FBI legal attachQ, and regional CT coordinator at 
Embassy Rome endorse this proposal, and Embassies Vatican and 
Rome are prepared to work with the Vatican officials to shape 
the proposal, as appropriate. End Action Request. 

3. (S) In recent years, the head of the Vatican Gendarmerie, 
Domenico Giani, has on occasion solicited specific security 
training from the FBI, most recently seeking explosives 
ordnance training for members of the Gendarmerie at Quantico. 
But, in general, Giani has been reluctant to engage in a 
comprehensive dialogue with the United States about Vatican 
capabilities and preparedness to respond to a terrorist 
attack. In November 2008, however, Embassy Vatican DCM 
Julieta Valls Noyes spoke with Giani and proposed conducting 
a joint tabletop exercise on crisis management. Giani 
responded positively to this suggestion, which was presented 
during a conversation about Al-Qaeda's threat to the Vatican. 

4. (C) Comment: Due to the Holy See's sensitivity about 
being seen to be too close to any one state, it has been 
challenging to foster a security dialogue with Vatican City 
officials that includes a comprehensive needs assessment. 
This is especially a concern given the high number of 
Americans who visit Vatican City each year, the known 
Al-Qaeda antipathy to the Pope, and the Vatican's conviction 
that its facilities must be easily accessible to all 
Catholics. Giani's interest in a crisis management exercise 
offers an opportunity to open the door to a more substantial 
dialogue that would help the United States be better placed 
to help the Vatican prepare to deal with terrorist threats. 
End Comment. 

SPOGLI