Al-Qaeda: target global oil infrastructure

A year ago, al-Qaeda issued a call for its followers to target oil infrastructure throughout the Islamic world. Now it threatens to take the campaign global, calling for attacks on US suppliers in the western hemisphereā€”especially invoking Canada, Mexico and Venezuela. From AFP, Feb. 14:

DUBAI — The Saudi branch of Al-Qaeda has called for attacks on oil installations in countries beyond just the Middle East that supply the United States, hinting at Canada, Mexico and Venezuela as targets.

“In the long term, the United States will not need the Middle East or it will reduce its dependency on it, and will be satisfied with oil from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela,” the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Arabian Peninsula said.

“Oil interests in all regions from which the United States benefits should be hit, not only in the Middle East,” the group said in an article in its online monthly magazine, Sawt al-Jihad (the Voice of Jihad).

“The aim is to cut all its imports or reduce them by all means,” it said.

“The targets among oil interests should include oil wells, export pipelines, loading platforms and tankers and all that could reduce the US’ access to oil.”

“The instructions from sheikh Osama concerning the targeting of oil interests are clear, so for the mujahedeen (holy warriors) to be able to implement these instructions, they should gather information and choose the target carefully,” it said.

On Thursday, the same group warned that it was planning major operations aimed at driving Western interests out of the Arabian peninsula.

“We have for some time been in the process of preparing major operations that will weaken the Crusaders’ bases in the Arabian peninsula,” it said in an online statement.

Saudi Arabia pumps more than nine million barrels of oil per day and sits on a quarter of global oil reserves.

Saudi authorities said in February, 2006 that they had thwarted a bid to blow up the world’s largest oil processing plant at Abqaiq in its oil-rich Eastern Province.

Security forces killed the would-be suicide-bomber drivers of two vehicles laden with explosives before they could penetrate the massive complex.

Al-Qaeda, which has repeatedly threatened to target oil installations in the region, claimed responsibility for the attempted attack.

See our last posts on al-Qaeda and the global struggle for control of oil.