Seized material reveals Al Qaeda plot to target tankers

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binladenInformation seized by Navy SEALS in the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound shows that Al Qaeda has been considering hijacking tankers at sea and blowing them up, according to media reports.

The Associated Press reported that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning to authorities and the oil industry Friday. The AP report said Al Qaeda sought to obtain details about oil tankers, such as their size, how they were constructed and that they could be approached best during spring and summer months. Al Qaeda concluded that tankers could best be destroyed from the inside, and that doing so would trigger an “extreme economic crisis.”

The Department of Homeland Security responded to the report with a statement from spokesman Matthew Chandler that said  that “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,” but that added that “in 2010 there was continuing interest by members of al-Qaida in targeting oil tankers and commercial oil infrastructure at sea.”

May 22, 2011

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