The 21st Century Phenomenon



Most of the energy sources of the Western Democracies and the raising economics of Asia (known as the Asian Tigers), including USA, are coming from the Muslim World or opponents of the Western Democracies like Russia and Venezuela. Large part of the world’s oil is transported through two strategic straits: The Malacca Straits between Indonesia and Malaysia and the Aden Straits – in Arabic Baba k-Mandab, between Yemen and the Horn of Africa, specifically Somalia.


Following the crackdown on the INDONESIAN JI in Indonesia, its remnants found refuge in Banda Ache, in North-West Indonesia, by a local long time insurgency. Following the arrest of its members, on 02/23/2010 (see – Banda Aceh 02.23.10), Indonesian Intelligence issued an alert of possible attacks against commercial vessels in the Malacca Strait (see – Allert 03.04.10). There were no material preparation for such attacks and it was still a preliminary idea.


Few days ago, on Monday 03/22/2010, the USA Navy Intelligence was warning of possible Al-Qaeda attacks against ships off the coast of Yemen, where Al-qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has established a significant base of operations over the past year.


Yemen became a focus of deep international concern in 12/2009 when Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the failed Flight-253 attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on 2009 Christmas Eve, showing the group based in an impoverished and unstable corner of the Middle East had global reach. It is reasonable to assume that the intelligence was obtained from the interrogation of 11 Al Qaeda suspects, including Sharif Mobley, who were arrested in Yemen earlier this month.


The Gulf of Aden was already used for an attack on a commercial oil Tanker, the Limburg Attack, on 10/06/2002. More to the south of Baba al-Mandab Straits, in the Indian Ocean, there is an activity of SOMALI PIRATES and therefore a presence of foreign Naval Fleets. Although the Somali Pirates are capable to commit a series of speed boats attacks loaded with explosives on commercial vessels it can bring an end to their prosperous occupation of hijacking ships and collecting ransoms. The Somali Pirates are after the money – not after the Western Democracies or their economies. Somali Pirates  are not Jihadist although, probably, help to finance terror indirectly through the Somali tribes, some of them affiliated to al-Shabab in Southern Somalia.


The most serious attempt, so far, to attack oil facilities systematically in order to undermine the economies of the Western Democracies was carried out in Saudi Arabia in the years 2004-5 in the YANBU ATTACK, the Khobar Hostages Crisis and Abqaiq Attack.


Although single attacks on oil vessels or facilities are in the capacity of local Jihadi cells all over the world, a comprehensive, coordinated and ongoing attack on the oil supply to Europe, USA and the rest of the world is well beyond the capabilities of Al Qaeda and alike in the world.  
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