• Germany's news in English
 

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

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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.
Today's headlines
Merkel summons US envoy over spy claims
Photo: DPA

Merkel summons US envoy over spy claims

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel's office Thursday asked the US ambassador to discuss new allegations about NSA spying, a German government source said. READ  

Police confiscate WW2 tank hidden in cellar
Photo: Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-490-3270-06A/Wikimedia Commons

Police confiscate WW2 tank hidden in cellar

Police searched a villa in a wealthy suburb of Kiel on Wednesday and found a Second World War tank, a torpedo and other weaponry in the cellar. On Thursday they were still working on removing the tank. READ  

Google game slammed over use of death camps
Dachau concentration camp. Photo: DPA

Google game slammed over use of death camps

News that Google is using the sites of Nazi concentration camps as elements in an "augmented reality" project - an online game linked to the real world - has caused extreme upset to Holocaust survivors' organizations. READ  

Capturing Berlin with an outsider's eye
A Soviet Cosmonaut mosaic in Potsdam. Photo: Digital Cosmonaut

Capturing Berlin with an outsider's eye

It took a German who spent much of his early life abroad to document some of the hidden, abandoned, or forgotten-about corners of Berlin in English. The Local meets "Digital Cosmonaut", one of Berlin's best-loved bloggers. READ  

Greek President cancels Berlin visit
Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos(l) with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Photo: DPA

Greek President cancels Berlin visit

Prokopis Pavlopoulos, President of Greece, has cancelled plans to visit Berlin next Tuesday, German media reported on Thursday. READ  

Guardiola: Schweini must decide on future
Photo: DPA

Guardiola: Schweini must decide on future

UPDATE: Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola said Thursday that Bastian Schweinsteiger holds his future in his own hands amidst reports linking the Germany captain to Manchester United. READ  

Drug-driving trucker kills two police officers
The accident happened on the Autobahn near Dortmund. Photo: DPA

Drug-driving trucker kills two police officers

A truck driver crashed his vehicle into a stationary police car on the Autobahn in North Rhine-Westphalia on Thursday, killing the two officers inside. READ  

Watchdog escapes breast implant fine
A breast augmentation operation in progress. Photo: DPA

Watchdog escapes breast implant fine

A French appeals court on Thursday found German safety standards body the Technische Überwachungsverein (TÜV) had "fulfilled its obligations" in certifying breast implants that were later found to be faulty and sparked a worldwide scare. READ  

Govt 'breaking promises' with new CO2 deal
The RWE brown coal plant in Niederaussem. Photo: DPA

Govt 'breaking promises' with new CO2 deal

Germany's governing coalition came to a major new agreement on carbon emissions on Wednesday evening. But the reported deal has left environmentalists feeling betrayed. READ  

Thais send kidnapper to face Munich justice
A photo used by police to track alleged kidnapper Mario S. Photo: DPA

Thais send kidnapper to face Munich justice

Thai authorities will deliver a man to Germany later this week to stand trial on accusations of kidnapping the wife of a Bavarian banker to finance his lavish lifestyle abroad. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Culture
What's top of the charts in June
Gallery
Germany's most beautiful cycle routes
Business & Money
The business case for Britain in the EU
Rhineland
Why farmers are free to pong up the countryside
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,858
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd