Al-Qaeda plans to attack oil firms in North Africa
By Abdelghani Henni
Friday, 16 September 2011 5:37
Algerian newspaper el-Khabar has reported of a specific al-Qaeda threat to US and British oil companies operating in Sahel and North Africa following US reports that the terrorist network has acquired Russian anti-aircraft rockets during the Libyan conflict.
US security forces have reportedly sent an email to US embassies in the Sahel Region and North Africa, in addition to oil companies operating in these region, after receiving confirmed information that al-Qaeda has acquired huge number of surface-to-air rockets which the group intends to use in attacks on oilfield staff from US and British companies working in the Sahara.
“The email says that terrorists plan to attack these companies, precisely planes carrying the staff working in the oil fields,” the newspaper quoted a source.
The newspaper said that the terrorists aim to target mainly staff rather than oil field infrastructure. The newspaper also said that major services companies operating in the drilling and the exploration sectors have received the email and forwarded it to their security contractors.
The notice has already reportedly spread concern among companies operating in these region, and also those looking to take part in the reconstruction of Libya.
The news paper said the rockets smuggled are SAM7 and SAM5 handheld Russian surface-to-air rockets, capable of shooting down civilian aircraft.
Re: Al-Qaeda plans to attack oil firms in North Africa
Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb Plans to Attack Planes in Algeria
Office of the Spokesperson
Question Taken at the September 15, 2011 Daily Press Briefing
September 16, 2011
QUESTION: What is the U.S. reaction to reports that al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb plans to attack planes chartered by oil companies in the Algeria Maghreb region? What information does the U.S. have about this alleged attack?
ANSWER: The U.S. Embassy in Algiers received threat information and both the Embassy and the Overseas Security Advisory Council acted quickly to alert potential targets to the threat. While we and our international partners have put considerable pressure on al-Qa’ida and have degraded much of the group’s abilities, including its capacity to raise money, train recruits, and plan attacks outside of the region, we continue to face a significant terrorist threat from al-Qa’ida, its affiliates, and its adherents. We continue to work very closely with our key partners on the threat from international terrorism, including the role that al-Qaida continues to play. Information is routinely shared between the U.S. and our partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats. The Government of Algeria has long been one of our strongest partners in this fight.