Monday, December 6, 2010

Secret 'critical infrastructure' list released

As stated in the article below, this most recent leak from WikiLeaks includes the following: "newly released diplomatic cable threatens to be the most explosive yet out of the many divulged by the whistle-blowing website".

Two articles reveal this breaking story:

WikiLeaks releases global sites vital to U.S.

WikiLeaks has divulged a secret list of key infrastructure sites around the world that the United States believes could pose a critical danger to its security if they come under terrorist attack.

A February 2009 cable from the State Department asked overseas US missions to list infrastructure and key resources around the globe "whose loss could critically impact the public health, economic security and/or national and homeland security of the United States"

It lists undersea cables, key communications, ports, mineral resources and firms of strategic importance in countries ranging from Austria to New Zealand. One item mentions smallpox vaccines in Denmark.

According to the diplomatic cable, the request was aimed at updating a list of "critical infrastructure and key resources located abroad," notably so as "to prevent, deter, neutralize or mitigate the effects of deliberate efforts by terrorists to destroy, incapacitate or exploit them."

UK condemns leak of 'critical infrastructure' list

Britain on Monday (6 December) condemned WikiLeaks for publishing a classified US list of "critical infrastructure" in European countries which could form terrorist targets. German tabloid Bild also said the whistleblower is playing into terrorists' hands.

"We unequivocally condemn the unauthorised release of classified information. The leaks and their publication are damaging to national security in the United States, Britain and elsewhere," a communique from Prime Minister David Cameron's office reads.

Overnight from Sunday to Monday, the WikiLeaks published a cable dating to 18 February in which the US government lists what it considers "critical foreign infrastructure" around the globe, including Europe.

The inventory is drawn up from a strictly US perspective, not a national or European one. An attack on these facilities "could critically impact the public health, economic security, and/or national and homeland security of the United States," the cable says.

The article includes an interesting list of such sites around the globe that could end up being potential targets by terrorist groups.

A few of the more interesting sites:

Apart from military assets, pharmaceutical laboratories and factories are mentioned in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipline connecting oil fields in the Caspian sea to Turkey via Georgia and Azerbaijan is also on the list, along with Soviet-era oil pipe Druzba, crossing Belarus and Poland, Italy's Trans-Med gas pipeline and Spain's Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline. Russia's Novorossiysk oil terminal on the Black Sea and the Nadym gas pipeline junction in Western Siberia are mentioned, the latter being described as "the most critical gas facility in the world."

Undersea cables in Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK complete the list, along with strategic straits such as the Bosphorus and Gibraltar and some rare elements mines in Ukraine and Russia.

Also military sites:

Among potential British targets are BAE Systems' facilities in Presont, Lancashire for being "critical to the [fighter jet] F-35 Joint Strike Fighter," the one in Southway, Plymouth Devon, described as "critical to extended range guided munitions" and the one in Chorley for its role in the Joint Standoff Weapon program, which develops "precision strike weapons" launched from fighter jets.

Scotland's MacTaggart Scott engineering company, producer of propulsion units for submarines is also on the list for being "critical to the Ship Submersible Nuclear" program.

Germany did not react officially on Monday morning. The mass-circulation Bild published an article with the headline "This is how WikiLeaks is playing into the terrorists' hands," however.

These examples above are a small subset of the overall WikiLeaks information, seemingly custom made for terrorist groups. And we are still in the early stages of information release from WikiLeaks.

Will these leaks play into end-times prophecy?

Only time will tell. But terrorist states and rogue terrorist groups now have more and more access to critical information that was otherwise held in secret. That can't be a good thing in any scenario.

No comments: