Milan gets terrorist warning

Duomo and Teatro alla Scala possible terrorist targets.

Milan’s cathedral and the world-famous opera house Teatro alla Scala have been mentioned in an FBI alert issued after the anti-terrorism blitzes in Paris this week.

The two Milan locations and St Peter’s in Rome were picked out as potential targets although there was no word of specific intelligence about an immediate threat,

The US embassy in Rome then issued a travel advice note for US nationals visiting Italy. "US Embassy Rome informs US citizens that the following locations have been identified as potential targets in Rome and Milan for terrorist attacks: St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City (Rome), The Duomo and La Scala in Milan, " read the note.

It went on to list churches, synagogues, restaurants, theatres and hotels as potential targets for terrorist action, warning that methods used in the recent Paris attacks could be utilised.

As promised by Milan mayor Giuseppe Pisapia following the 13 November outrage in Paris, the Public Order and Security Committee was immediately convened to review the security situation in Milan. As a result, police presence on the city’s streets, already increased for Expo Milan 2015, was boosted by 250 additional officers. Further personnel was also assigned to Milan to monitor CCTV footage from around the city.

Lombardy regional governor Roberto Maroni has denied any suggestion of postponement or cancellation of the festive opening of the winter opera season at La Scala on 7 December, with Roberto Chailly conducting Verdi’s Joan of Arc.

Despite what some have suggested to me,” stated Maroni, “I am in favour of holding the opening night. But because it’s an extraordinary event of world-wide interest, I have requested extra security measures.

There is tangible tension on Milan's streets. Leading daily La Repubblica sent two reporters dressed in niqab and keffiah to mingle with the Christmas shopping crowds. The paper reported this morning that they had been verbally abused, and challenged to identify themselves by the police.