Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed told a U.N. Security Council
Somali Islamists could grab tankers for attacks: PM
Well, it looks like he's right on the money
Osama bin Laden and other senior al Qa'eda leaders hatched a plan to hijack oil tankers and blow them up at sea, with the aim of harming the US economy through resulting sky-high oil prices, Washington has disclosed.The plot was in its infancy when discovered by US operatives in recent weeks. Nevertheless, the country's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and homeland security department have alerted the energy industry to the development."We are not aware of indications of any specific or imminent terrorist attack plotting against the oil and natural gas sector overseas or in the United States," Matthew Chandler, the homeland security spokesman, said on Friday. "However, in 2010 there was continuing interest by members of al Qa'eda in targeting oil tankers and commercial oil infrastructure at sea."The plot was outlined in documents seized from bin Laden's last hideout during the May 2 Navy Seals raid in Pakistan in which the al Qa'eda leader died.Analysts suggest the terror group was seeking to emulate the tactics of Somali pirates, who have used small boats to seize vessels as large as supertankers.While the pirates hold the cargoes and crews of captured vessels for cash ransom, security experts have long worried about the potential for an accidental explosion aboard a hijacked tanker filled with inflammable petroleum fuels or chemicals. Those concerns were highlighted early last year when two groups of pirates got into a shoot-out while arguing over the ransom for the MV Maran Centaurus, a Greek supertanker seized off the coast of Somalia while carrying a cargo of crude to the US.
Heightened safety and security concerns have already forced up insurance rates for tankers sailing through pirate-infested waters and led to the opening of new naval bases near bottlenecks such as the Strait of Hormuz. The UAE opened an additional naval base last year in Fujairah.
Al Qaeda Incorporated: Terrorist franchise stronger than ever
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