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Published on Sep 4, 2007
August 2006 For some, visiting Jerusalem brings them a little too close to God. Dozens of tourists develop 'Jerusalem Syndrome', believing they have a messianic mission. Many fear they pose a security risk.
"Jerusalem Syndrome patients are definitely open to exploitation", claims one former Shin Bet agent. Extremist Jewish groups have vowed to tear down the Al Aqsa mosque and rebuild the temple. It's feared they could harness the psychosis of misguided Christian pilgrims to achieve this end. Another potential scenario is that a patient may try to trigger the apocalypse and second coming by destroying the mosque. As Sheik Ekrima Sabri Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, warns; "if the mosque is damaged, the reaction will be immense".
Produced by ABC Australia Distributed by Journeyman Pictures