Oil terrorism near home

We have grown used to terror attacks against oil facilities in Iraq, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, but now it seems this plague is coming to a theater near us. The LA Times reports that “Mexican President Felipe Calderon has dispatched a new 5,000-strong elite military unit to guard strategic sites, including oil refineries and hydroelectric dams, in the wake of guerrilla attacks on pipelines operated by the national oil and gas company, Pemex.” and that “as many as 1,000 factories and other businesses in the Guanajuato-Queretaro region of central Mexico have been forced to shut down or reduce operations this week because of fuel shortages caused by attacks this month.” The attacks were executed by The leftist Popular Revolutionary Army, or EPR, in retaliation for the disappearance of two of their militants last year in the southern state of Oaxaca.
“The damage to the economy is serious,” Ruben Aguilar Valenzuela wrote Thursday in the commentary in the newspaper Reforma. “This [guerrilla] action was well thought out…. They picked a strategic objective.”

Meanwhile, a Pennsylvania man was convicted yesterday of plotting to blow up U.S. oil pipelines and gas facilities and of attempting to enlist al Qaeda terrorists on the Internet to help carry out his plan. The Washington Times reported that “Michael C. Reynolds, 49, of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., was found guilty of scheming to blow up the Alaska and Transcontinental pipelines and other energy installations to prompt a withdrawal of the U.S. military from Iraq, laying out the scheme in extreme detail to a man he thought was an al Qaeda contact but who was actually a former federal magistrate working with the FBI.”

This is another reminder that terrorists realize the best way to hurt us and the governments they hate is going after the lifeblood of our economy which also happens to be that of some of the world’s worst dictators.

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