News24

WikiLeaks lists sites 'vital' to US

2010-12-06 16:05

London - Website WikiLeaks published details of sites around the globe which the United States deems vital to its interests, prompting criticism that it is helping militants identify targets for attack.

The details are part of 250 000 diplomatic cables obtained by the campaigning website which are being made public.

The list begins with a cobalt mine in Kinshasa, Congo and refers to various locations in Europe where drug companies produce insulin, treatment for snake bites and foot and mouth vaccines.

In the Middle East, it notes that Qatar will be the largest source of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2012 and also refers to the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia, the largest crude oil process and stabilisation plant in the world.

Al-Qaeda mounted an unsuccessful attack on Abqaiq in 2006 and there were warnings that the WikiLeaks cable setting out so many sensitive targets could help militants.

Former British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind accused WikiLeaks of being "generally irresponsible, bordering on criminal".

"This is the kind of information terrorists are interested in knowing," he told The Times newspaper.

Public health threat

Professor Richard Aldrich of Warwick University in central England said it had the potential to help militants find soft targets.

"Essentially what it says to terrorists is at the moment you are attacking highly defended targets of relatively low value, what you could be doing is attacking high value targets that are relatively weakly defended," he told BBC News.

"So it's the overall message which has the potential to change the pattern of a number of terrorists groups around the world," he added.

The cable sets out details of facilities whose loss could impact the public health, economic or national security of the United States. It was drawn up after the State Department last year asked US missions abroad for a list of such sites.

It refers to places where undersea communications cables reach land and energy routes including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline which runs from Azerbaijan to Turkey.

Comments
  • Prof. Bokdrol - 2010-12-06 16:49

    If Wikileaks' founder keeps this up then 2010 could be his Turkey Year (courtesy of the CIA / FBI / whoever) - he might not see Christmas...

  • people.3000 - 2010-12-06 17:35

    This is also easily accessed by "investors" from around the world. What the states are "bitching" about can be seen by anyone looking at what the USA's areas of interests are. "Terrorists" can look at what Wall street is buying/selling to get the same info... so give me a break! I wonder if the USA is concerned about "terrorists" learning to use Google...lol

      Mundu - 2010-12-06 19:00

      It's not just about the USA you drol, if the gooks get the info they will blow the sites up, these include sites that SA might have eg uranium mines etc. Most peoples pensions and life savings are invested in the stock exchange and banks, if they take a hit, then so does the little man.

      people.3000 - 2010-12-06 20:47

      @Mundu, Firstly, they already had this info, you drol, do you think they actually live in a cave somewhere and just discovered the internet and world affairs? I take it you believe terrorists WASN'T created by USA in the fight against the soviet...haha, I also take it you think USA has so many enemies by magic and not because of their "good" foreign policies? Wise up before you try and "communicate" with others, your embarrassing yourself.

  • Chibuli - 2010-12-06 20:17

    Shame - the Colonies are so focused on "terrorism". If they didn't try to control the world economies, and concentrated on developing international goodwill, they wouldn't have to worry about who knows that some cobalt mine in the DRC, or insulin-producing pharmaceutical companies, are crucial to their survival. The products of these entities are not only for American consumption. It's just like their obsession with the proliferation of nuclear weapons while they are the largest stockpiler of such tools of mass destruction. I'm glad Wikileaks is exposing the Yanks for their subversiveness.

  • Anon - 2010-12-08 19:26

    MLK once said that the arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice. We are here. We are your friends, co-workers, family members, and neighbors. We have no political affiliation. We have no national affiliation. We are the sum of the world's intellectual capacity made manifest in the desire for liberty. We are Anonymous. Julian Assange's only crime is in turning on the kitchen lights to watch the cockroaches scatter. Now those same cockroaches have made him a prisoner of concience. This is unacceptable to Anonymous. All information, be it secret or public, sacred or profane is the right of every seeker in pursuit of truth. This pursuit was left to the roadside when the United States imposed it's self inflicted wound on the rest of the world as an excuse to crush free thought. We do not want your corporate spoon fed talking points from your official 'news' outlets. They have no credibility with us anymore. All of those who have a desire for truth have a friend in us. Julian Assange is one such friend. And for him we make this stand today by slapping you in the most painful pressure point you have....your money. Unlike the misguided, misinformed, and under educated modern "tea party" movement in the United States, we are here in the name of liberty, freedom of thought, freedom of information, and governments that are beholden to their people and not those who buy their elections. We are Anonymous, We are legion, We do not forgive, We do not forget. Expect us.

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