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ROME — Italian twitter users have been reacting to threats by ISIS propagandists to “conquer Rome” by offering humorous travel advice to the militants.
A recent video that appeared to show the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya included balaclava-clad extremists and the message: "We will conquer Rome, by Allah's permission.”
Libya is across the Mediterranean Sea from Italy. Italy's Interior Minister Angelino Alfano later urged NATO to intervene "for the future of the Western world." Alfano added: "ISIS is at the door. There is no time to waste."
But while Italian authorities deployed 5,000 troops to guard embassies and monuments across the country, many on Twitter saw the funny side of ISIS' threats. The hashtag #we_are_coming_o_rome trended for days.
One Twitter user referenced Francesco Schettino, the captain of the doomed Costa Concordia who was earlier this month sentenced to 16 years in prison over the deadly wreck off the Italian coast.
Some posted pictures of gridlocked roads and warned militants to avoid rush hour, or they’d never make it to Rome.
Another offered useful fashion tips:
("Passamontagna" is the Italian word for "balaclava.")
ISIS supporters did not do themselves any favors by either misspelling threats, or mistaking a famous Italian dish with a medieval town.
One self-proclaimed “citizen and soldier of the Islamic State” wrote: “We will use your leaning tower of pizza to throw off homosexual,” seemingly unaware that the world-famous structure is in Pisa and is not made of dough.
The Twitter account was later suspended but that didn't stop a torrent of sarcastic replies.
However, the purported ISIS supporter remained defiant: “People may laugh at a typo but the reality is going to hit home when [ISIS] does reach Rome and things to kick off.”