A tourist was forced to her knees at knifepoint at Rome’s Colosseum in a terrifying attack that recalled an ISIS-style execution. Hundreds of horrified visitors to the Italian landmark looked on as the attacker held a kitchen knife to the neck of a 26-year-old woman and yelled ‘Allah is great’ and ‘It is God that sends me’.
The man held Chiara Frisco hostage for several minutes as he yelled religious fanaticism at the crowd with police powerless to act.
One witness said: ‘It seemed like a scene from ISIS. ‘He made the girl get down on her knees like you see in the terrorists’ videos, while he held a knife to her throat. ‘The only thing missing was the orange jumpsuit.’
Others told Il Messaggero he was yelling ‘incomprehensible things, but among them “Allah is great”.’ Miss Frisco, from Vasto on the Adriatic coast, who was visiting her sister in Rome to celebrate her graduation, said she feared ‘the worst’ when the knifeman grabbed her.
Speaking from hospital where she was being treated for shock, she said: ‘We came from Vasto to celebrate my sister’s graduation.
‘We were supposed to meet her in the evening. While waiting we decided to take a walk and go and see the Colosseum.’
She was sitting on a low wall with my boyfriend and other friends on Monday afternoon when the ‘maniac’ struck.
She told La Repubblica: ‘I felt myself pulled suddenly into the middle of the crowd. Then I felt the blade of the knife that he was holding against me. I feared the worst would happen,”I could not see the weapon”. She continued saying, “The whole attack lasted seconds, but I felt a tremendous fear”.
‘The man was yelling like a maniac. Luckily the police came though.’