World

Poland Authorities: Safety is ‘guaranteed’ throughout country during #WYD2016

Reassuring messages after the arrest of a man suspected of planning attacks before World Youth Day officially began

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© Jeffrey Bruno / Aleteia

A 48 year-old Iraqi man was arrested in the central Poland city of Lodz on Monday July 26; he is suspected of planning an attack connected to World Youth Day (WYD), which is held this week in Krakow.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw has confirmed the arrest, which occurred after police became suspicious during a routine check using bomb-sniffing dogs. The Polish Interior Ministry reported that authorities have prevented 200 people from entering the country, as a security measure.

At World Youth Day, Pope Francis will meet with more than 1.5 million young Catholics from around the world. This year the celebration coincides with the Jubilee of Mercy, dedicated this week to the boys and girls in attendance.

According to Polsat News, the suspect entered Poland via Switzerland after being expelled from Sweden. He will remain in preventive detention the next two months.

Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi said on July 20 that he is not concerned about security during the pope’s trip to Poland. The trip, he said, was  being organized with complete “normality and tranquility.”

The spokesman insisted that are no existent signs of a significant threat in Krakow, or throughout Poland.

Pope Francisco will keep busy on this trip, celebrating several Masses, visiting shrines and churches, and also praying at the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau.

Meanwhile, the Polish Minister of Internal Affairs, Mariusz Blaszczak informed the Polish agency PAP that the safety of the Pope and pilgrims is ‘guaranteed’.

On Wednesday, the Pope will arrive at John Paul II Airport Balice-Krakow. The next day, he will move from the archdiocese to Blonia park, and will travel in a tram belonging to the public transport service; he will be accompanied by pilgrims with disabilities.

Security there will cover several external perimeters in coordination with local police and gendarmerie.

The Krakow Post confirmed that security will be strengthened until August 1 throughout the country. There are already 40,000 police officers deployed. Security forces from Italy and Portugal are also serving.

Translated from the Spanish edition