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Wikileaks reveals potential terrorist targets

Published: 06 Dec 2010 12:33 GMT+01:00

The controversial whistleblower site published the cable late on Sunday, listing potential targets that experts told British daily The Times were a “gift for terrorist organisations.”

The list of “critical infrastructure and key resources located abroad” detailed hundreds of pipelines, important data cables, and businesses belonging to international industrial and pharmaceutical giants. If destroyed, these sites could damage US interests, the diplomatic communique said.

In Germany such sites included the BASF headquarters in Ludwigshafen, which was described as the “world's largest integrated chemical complex,” and Hamburg's port.

Other crucial sites include the northwestern coastal city of Norden and the North Sea island of Sylt, where two important underwater data and communication cables connecting North America and Europe reach land.

The list was the result of a February 2009 order from Washington for officials to compile a list of international assets critical for the United States.

The plants of industrial giant Siemens were also listed for “essentially irreplaceable production of key chemicals” and the production of hydroelectric dam turbines and generators.

Other companies included Dräger Safety in the northern German city of Lübeck, “critical to gas detection capability,” and Junghans Fienwerktechnik in the southern city of Schramberg, “critical to the production of mortars.”

A number of German pharmaceutical companies that produce critical vaccines, medications and medical tests, including insulin and a small pox vaccine, were also included on the list.

Britain and the US condemned Wikileaks’ decision to publish the list among a bundle of some 250,000 secret diplomatic documents obtained by the site.

“There are strong and valid reasons information is classified, including critical infrastructure and key resources that are vital to the national and economic security of any country,” US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley told The Times.

Julian Assange may be directing his efforts at the United States but he is placing the interests of many countries and regions at risk. This is irresponsible.”

But Wikileaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson told daily The Financial Times that the release proves the US government uses embassy officials for intelligence gathering, despite claims to the contrary.

“In terms of security issues, while this cable details the strategic importance of assets across the world, it does not give any information as to their exact locations, security measures, vulnerabilities or any similar factors, though it does reveal the US asked its diplomats to report back on these matters,” she told the paper.

The Local/ka

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Your comments about this article

13:10 December 6, 2010 by freechoice
now which terrorists would have time to dig through the 250,000 documents?

thanks alot now everybody knows!
13:50 December 6, 2010 by ron1amr
The truth is wikileaks only expose things that Governments cover up. Most things a lot of people already know. Governments treat people like mushrooms keep us under cover and feed us nothing but manure. Its interesting how high up politicians contrive up wordings to say wikileaks are terrorists and threaten security. What security? Their term in office because they are being exposed for all the actions they turned a blind eye to? The next thing wikileaks want to go after are banks. Thats a good thing as you can be sure they don't have a clean record. But so what whatever wikileaks do will it change anything? I don't think so.

People know a lot more than Governments give them credit for. Internet filtering is another system Governments want to undertake to keep public in the dark.
13:58 December 6, 2010 by DOZ
To suggest that the Terror Community had no idea of these potential targets prior to the Wikileaks, is just another suggestion that the Arab and Muslim Community is un-educated and requires the West for critical intelligance. One of the most important quests of these Communities, is the restoration of their intellectual strength that existed up until the West invaded their communities for the Black Gold. Iran's Nuclear endevours is just a step in this process, and as usual the West is trying their best to stop it. Iran's biggest beef, that brought down the Shaw, and exists in the Shiekdom Countries, is that they used the Oil $$$ to buy cheap Western Technology, instead of developing their own, and allowed their Universities to fall into decay and discrace, and their people into Welfare Recipients. Countries like Germany, India, China and Japan should respect this, considering that fostering their own Intellectual Community has always been a #1 priority.
14:40 December 6, 2010 by SRaab
DOZ,

Irans biggest beef, that brought down the Shaw, and exists in the Shiekdom Countries, is that they used the Oil $$$ to buy cheap Western Technology, instead of developing their own.

Can you name 1 Technical thing these Shiekdom countries developed?

Please enlighten me.
17:08 December 6, 2010 by wenddiver
Geez, Doz,

Apparently, the Universitys have completely collapsed if that's what they are teaching.

Ancient Babalon, ancient Persia, ancient Eygypt were all fantastically advanced. Last I looked they stayed pretty advanced during their own interaction with the Ancient West. The area didn't start to be backwards until Islam started to take over. Sure they had a few good advances during this time, but realistically they have been falling behind ever since. If the West really was trying to control the whole world they would spread Islam and Communism throughout the third world, so they continued to fall behind.

No government ever sent as many students to Western Universities as the Shahs, Iran to this day uses weaponry he purchased. Iran has fallen behind in everything except getting an atomic bomb in recent years.
18:53 December 6, 2010 by Beachrider
I can understand Libertarians believing that they should have access to all information. I don't agree with them, but I understand them.

What about individual privacy (often key in discussions here) gets lost in this? If a person 'squeals' about something, does that 'squealer' have a right to privacy? That privacy has been completely bypassed in this release.

More importantly, disclosing infrastructure information that is only-useful in defending or attaching public safety is clearly a public security issue.

It is clear that the PFC that disclosed this info committed Treason against the USA.
19:33 December 6, 2010 by cotongrll
Maybe I'm missing something... the WIKILEAKS spokes person said locations weren't given. Call me crazy, but, um... wouldn't the port of Hamburg be, like, on the Elbe in, say, Hamburg?
09:18 December 7, 2010 by catjones
How come the photo wasn't blurred?

Apparently a chemical complex isn't as sensitive as my neighbor's lace curtains.
11:50 December 9, 2010 by LancashireLad
I'm really in two minds about Wikileaks.

This latest revelation does nothing towards uncovering illicit or illegal governmental action.

Of course governments have secrets - but it isn't always in the public's interest for these secrets to be exposed - that's generally why they are secrets....

Like the cables uncovering what the US thinks of the rest of the world's leaders, these revelations don't bring anything positive to the world.
01:52 December 14, 2010 by PeterTime
What assange told the world is what US really worries about if any other country may overcome them to be No. One.
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