Horrified tourists and locals watched in terror as a knifeman yelling "Allah is great" forced a woman to her knees in the middle of Rome's colosseum in what appeared to be a scene similar to ISIS' style execution.
[caption id="attachment_81970" align="aligncenter" width="534"]
Chiara Frisco was attacked by the knifeman in the Colosseum. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook)[/caption]
The attacker held a knife to the 26-year-old woman's throat screaming "it is God that sends me" as horrified tourists looked on.
He held frantic Chiara Frisco hostage for several minutes while he yelled the Islamist slogans 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."
Other bystanders revealed the man was yelling "incomprehensible things, but among them 'Allah is great'".
Miss Frisco, from Vasto on the Adriatic coast, was celebrating her sister's graduation in Rome when the horror random attack occurred.
She revealed how she feared "the worst" when the knifeman grabbed her and forced her to her knees.
Speaking from hospital bed, 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 her boyfriend and other friends on Monday afternoon when the knifeman struck.
She said, "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. The whole attack lasted seconds but I felt a tremendous fear.
"The man was yelling like a maniac. Luckily the police came though."
When officers arrived, the attacker ran off through the nearby ancient Roman Forum packed with tourists towards the centre of Rome.
However, police caught up with him and he was disarmed and arrested.
"None of us expected any sort of aggression in the centre of Rome. I don't think I'll stay here to see my sister – when I get out of here I just want to go home", said Miss Frisco to local media.
One policemen that intervened at the scene explained how officers were unable to shoot the attacker for fear of injuring people in the crowd.
He said, "He made the girl kneel and held the knife to her throat. It seemed like an ISIS film that you see online.
"I was afraid that he would cut her throat but we could not shoot because there were too many people.
"Two of us approached from the side and one from behind. And when he lowered the knife we intervened."
Brave officers kicked the man in the back at which point he lost his balance, let go of Miss Frisco and fled.
A 33-year-old Brazilian man, of no fixed abode, was arrested and held on suspicion of attempted murder and resisting arrest.