CAIRO, Egypt – A Saudi Arabian terrorist faction affiliated with Al Qaeda has urged Muslim terrorists to attack oil facilities all over the world, including Canada, Mexico and Venezuela, to stop the flow of oil to the United States, according to an article by the group posted on the Internet.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said in its monthly magazine posted on an Islamic Web site that "cutting oil supplies to the United States, or at least curtailing it, would contribute to the ending of the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan." The group said it was making the statements as part of Usama bin Laden's declared policy.
It was not possible to verify independently that the posting was from the terror faction.
Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for last year's attacks on oil installations in Saudi Arabia and Yemen after bin Laden called on militants to stop the flow of oil to the West. The group also was behind the 2002 attack on a French oil tanker that killed one person in the Gulf of Aden.
The article in the online magazine Sawt al-Jihad, or Voice of the Holy War, said the United States would always need more oil.
"In the long run, America might be able to lessen its dependence on Middle East oil and would be satisfied with oil from Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and other new customers or double its dependence on alternative energy resources; therefore, oil interests in all regions that serve the U.S. and not only in the Middle East, should be attacked," said the article.
In Ottawa, Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day told reporters: "We take this threat seriously."
Referring to the country's oil and gas pipelines, Day said Wednesday: "I won't get into details on the ways that it is observed and surveyed, (but) critical infrastructure is surveyed not only by security of the government but also by the organizations themselves."
Ray Lord, a spokesman for Chevron Corp., told the Canadian media company CanWest News the company was not aware of the latest threat, but security was a "top priority."
"Ever since 9/11 our entire company has been on an elevated alert," he said.
In Mexico, presidential spokesman Maximiliano Cortazar told reporters that President Felipe Calderon's government was trying to confirm the veracity of the threat. Venezuela's Foreign Ministry said it had no immediate comment.
Al Qaeda, in a statement claiming responsibility for attacks in November on oil installations in Yemen, said "these operations were carried out upon the directive of our emir (leader) Usama bin Laden, may God protect him, in which he ordered Muslims to strike at the Western economy and drain it, and to halt the robbing of Muslims' wealth."