WikiLeaked

Massive list of foreign infrastructure critical to U.S. released

A secret State Department cable released by WikiLeaks on Sunday, Dec. 5, provides in almost numbing detail a list of foreign critical infrastructure and key resources (CI/KR) vital to the national security of the United States. Though there’s little in the way of analysis and no security information provided in the cable, it reads as ...

A secret State Department cable released by WikiLeaks on Sunday, Dec. 5, provides in almost numbing detail a list of foreign critical infrastructure and key resources (CI/KR) vital to the national security of the United States. Though there’s little in the way of analysis and no security information provided in the cable, it reads as a terrorist’s holiday wish list.

The cable notes cobalt mines in Congo, munitions and chemical manufacturers in Germany, a smallpox vaccine plant in Denmark, Hitachi large electric power transformers in Korea, hydroelectric production in Quebec, and dozens of undersea cable landings around the world. It also includes strategically vital sea lanes such as Singapore’s Straits of Malacca and Spain’s Strait of Gibraltar; and key energy facilities, such as Russia’s Nadym Gas Pipeline Junction ("the most critical gas facility in the world") and Qatar’s Ras Laffan Industrial Center — which the cable notes is vital because by "2012 Qatar will be the largest source of imported LNG [liquified natural gas]to U.S."

The cable, sent in February 2009 to U.S. embassies around the world, was part of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), which under the direction of the Department of Homeland Security, intends to create a "safer, more secure, and more resilient America by enhancing protection of the nation’s CI/KR to prevent, deter, neutralize or mitigate the effects of deliberate efforts by terrorists to destroy, incapacitate or exploit them; and to strengthen national preparedness, timely response, and rapid recovery in the event of an attack, natural disaster or other emergency."

Embassy personnel were asked "for their input on critical infrastructure and key resources within their host country which, if destroyed, disrupted or exploited, would likely have an immediate and deleterious effect on the United States."

U.S. national security officials are bound be concerned with the leak of such a broad and global list of critical infrastructure — which may provide additional targets for terrorists intent on attacking U.S. interests. No word yet on whether security has been upped in Parma, Italy, on a facility noted in the cable that produces Digibind, a pharmaceutical apparently "used to treat snake bites."

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