The Assassination Bureau


Just in time for the natural death of John Paul II, newly released Stasi files are refueling the theory that the KGB was behind the attempted assassination of the pope in 1981.

Meanwhile, the would-be assassin is now claiming that figures within the Vatican played a role in the conspiracy. He isn't the most reliable witness, though: He has declared several times that the Lord Himself told him to kill the pontiff, and his latest testimony is not free of discrepancies. The AP reports:

"Without the help of priests and cardinals, I would have not been able to carry out that action," Agca was quoted as saying in an interview Thursday with the Italian daily La Repubblica. "The devil is within the Vatican."

But in an apparently contradictory remark, Agca also said in the interview that on that morning "nobody in the world knew of my attempt."

Italy plans to reopen its inquiry into the shooting.