Skip to comments.Oil and Gas: Terror's Next Target?
Posted on 01/14/2004 10:17:38 PM PST by Destro
Oil and Gas: Terror's Next Target? Concerns over Security of Energy Infrastructure Explored in Latest Journal of Intl Security Affairs
1/8/04 11:22:00 AM
To: National Desk
Contact: Jim Colbert of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, 202-667-3900
WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Attacks on the West's oil and gas infrastructure -- from production facilities to pipelines and tankers -- are likely to be the next "mega" target of terrorists, and could wreak havoc with the world's economy, according to an in-depth analysis of the susceptibility of the energy industry featured in the latest Journal of International Security Affairs (Winter 2004).
Terrorist groups with global reach -- in particular, al Qaeda -- have identified the world's energy system as "a certain way to deliver a blow to America's oil dependent economy, as well as to the global economy at large," writes Gal Luft, executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security. He notes that such attacks have already become frequent, though little reported, against oil targets in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, and that Saudi Arabia's oil system, upon which much of the West depends, remains "target rich and extremely vulnerable."
The Journal of International Security Affairs, a public policy magazine available nationally at book sellers, newsstands, and by subscription, is published biannually and edited by former Ambassador Harvey Feldman. In addition to energy security vulnerabilities, several facets of terrorist threats facing the West are explored in the latest JISA, including:
-- A report by Washington Post investigative journalist Douglas Farah on al Qaeda's shift of its funding operations from the formal banking sector -- where assets are traceable -- to commodities, including gemstone trading in corners of Africa with little or no government control.
Farah quotes Belgian diamond trading experts who note that few diamonds showed up in Antwerp or other world markets in 2001, despite record mining activity, indicating that "someone bought and is hoarding a large stock of diamonds, worth many millions of dollars." Most troubling, reports Farah, is that Western intelligence agencies are not devoting nearly enough resources or attention to the issue.
-- An examination of the causes and foundations of the "new terrorism" - global rather than local, theological rather than Marxist, without geographic boundary, extremely sophisticated and well-financed -- by Shabtai Shavit, head of the Mossad, the Israeli Intelligence Agency, from 1989 to 1996. Shavit calls for a coordinated global response, including an "internationally agreed upon, specific definition" of what constitutes terrorism and terrorist acts.
-- A report on continuing and emerging terrorist activity in South America by National War College professor Cynthia Watson, who notes that Columbia's Armed Revolutionary Forces (FARC) has previously joined forces with the Irish Republican Army and Libyan terrorists and remains a major threat.
Other contributions to the Winter 2004 JISA include an objective analysis by Magdelena Kouneva and Robert Taylor, former United Nations officials working in Kosovo, on the UN's "nation- building" track record and its ability to handle the enormous task in Iraq; a provocative study on the American Empire by scholar Alexander Joffe; and reviews of new books on US-China relations and the use of airpower in fighting terrorists, insurgents and other "small wars."
The Journal of International Security Affairs is published each winter and summer by the Washington, DC-based Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), an independent, non-partisan educational organization established in 1976 to educate the public on national and international security issues. JINSA's home on the Internet is http://www.jinsa.org
/© 2004 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/
All the Norwegian offshore platforms are under constant terrorist alerts where fishing boats and planes are not allowed within specified distances.