RealNews

Saudis Tighten Oil Security

War or no war, the industry is an obvious and vulnerable terrorist target, experts warn. To enter this vast complex of oil pipelines, storage tanks and processing plants on the edge of the Persian Gulf, employees must pass through a gate with 12 armed guards, then approach a second one where 18 guards and a bomb-sniffing dog stand at the ready.They surrender their passports for coded ID cards that they swipe through an electronic reader, then enter PIN numbers. Once inside, they are protected by an antiaircraft missile battery and two layers of barbed-wire-topped fencing. A strand of wire capable of detecting the slightest movement encircles the perimeter, and video cameras stand sentinel every few feet, silently surveying the vast hot sweep of sand and sea for intruders.”The risk is here whether there is a war or not. There is a contingency plan for anything in the world that could happen. We are secure, because we must be secure,” said Bassam Bokhari, a refinery superintendent. Though the U.S.-led war in Iraq is winding down, experts say there will be a high risk of terrorist attacks on American interests in the Persian Gulf for months or even years to come. The oil industry — which Osama bin Laden has identified as the “umbilical cord” of the Western “colonizers” — remains the most obvious potential target. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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