Friday, March 02, 2007

Oil as a Target

Global Terror Alert recently published a translation of a new issue of al Qaeda's "magazine," Sawt al-Jihad. In the issue's one article, the jihadists reiterate their intention to target the U.S. economy, specifically through attacks on the oil industry.

Al-Qaeda has a long history of attacking oil interests, including

Al Qaeda's reason for attacking the oil industry is simple: They see it as one of our biggest vulnerabilities:
Bush's [State of the Union] speech proves that the targeting of oil [interests] constitutes the biggest threat to the United States . . .
Anyone responsible for local homeland security should take note of the writer's exhortation to attack oil interests everywhere in the world, not just in the Middle East or against countries that supply Middle Eastern oil. Domestic oil is a target, as well as oil from Canada and Mexico:

Nevertheless, we must not forget that the U.S. has spent a great deal on alternative energy technology, and will spend even more and in earnest. This indicates that America might become independent of the Middle East, or at least lessen its reliance on the region in the long term, while sufficing with oil from Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, and several new collaborators, as well as domestic energy sources. That is why it is imperative that we strike petroleum interests in all regions that the United States benefits from, and not only in the Middle East. The goal is to cut off its imports or reduce them by all means.

The targeting of oil interests includes oil production wells, export pipelines, loading platforms, tankers – and anything else that will deprive the United States of oil, force it to make decisions that it has avoided having to make for a long time, disrupt and stifle its economy, and threaten its economic and political future.
DHS Secretary Chertoff downplayed the threat, saying, "I don't think I would characterize it as a specific threat." Which is true enough. But prevention requires forward thinking - as Chertoff knows. You don't want to wait until a specific threat has emerged.

This may have been stated best al Qaeda themselves:
Our principle: If you are taking action, then you are the victor.
Which is an overstatement, of course. But on the other hand, there's no doubt that if you're doing nothing, you're losing.

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