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Vatican security adviser warns Pope could be Osama bin Laden's next target

Vincent Cannistraro, former head of the CIA's anti-terrorism unit and now a Vatican security adviser, warns that Osama bin Landen may be planning an attack on Pope John Paul II.

Cannistraro believes an attack on the Pope may coincide with Christmas, and the Vatican is taking all precautions.

The Ananova new service cites Cannistraro as saying "the al-Qaeda terror network will attempt an attack during the festive season in revenge for the West's bombing of Afghanistan during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan."

According to US intelligence sources, there have been three assassination plots against the pope, all in the past five years.