The United States has already thwarted a security threat against Pope Francis, according to House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul. The pope is scheduled to visit New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia this month.
In an interview with Martha Raddatz on ABC’s morning show “This Week” on Sunday, McCaul said the Secret Service had briefed him on threats against the pope.
“The pope is a very passionate man,” McCaul said. “He likes to get out with the people and with that comes a large security risk. We are monitoring very closely threats against the pope as he comes into the United States. We have disrupted one particular case ... but as that date approaches, I think we’re all .. being very vigilant to protect him as he comes into the United States.”
McCaul did not offer additional details, adding that the briefing was classified.
The pope will land in Washington Tuesday, Sept. 22, after a trip to Cuba. There, he will meet with privately with President Barack Obama, appear in a parade and make an address to a joint meeting of Congress.
Following Washington, Francis will head to New York City, where he is scheduled to deliver a speech at the United Nations General Assembly, participate in a parade that will take him through Central Park and lead Mass at Madison Square Garden. His trip will end in Philadelphia, where the pope will spend two days. He will visit Independence Mall and lead Mass at the World Meeting of Families.
Security measures are expected to be tight during the visit. The Secret Service is teaming up with the Vatican to ensure Francis' safety. Several measures are in place, including screenings at checkpoints and airspace restrictions. At many papal events, selfie sticks, balloons and backpacks will not be allowed.
The Secret Service declined to comment on the case.