Terrorists targeting energy sector, says spy chief

12th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

12 October 2006, Berlin (dpa) - Terrorists are setting their sights on the global energy infrastructure, the head of Germany's foreign intelligence service (BND) said on Thursday. Ernst Uhrlau told a Berlin seminar on energy and security there had been a marked increase in the number of terrorist attacks directed at energy targets in recent years. Groups like al-Qaeda, he said, had improved their capability and were concentrating on global energy supplies instead of local attacks of fuel depots or pipeline

12 October 2006

Berlin (dpa) - Terrorists are setting their sights on the global energy infrastructure, the head of Germany's foreign intelligence service (BND) said on Thursday.

Ernst Uhrlau told a Berlin seminar on energy and security there had been a marked increase in the number of terrorist attacks directed at energy targets in recent years.

Groups like al-Qaeda, he said, had improved their capability and were concentrating on global energy supplies instead of local attacks of fuel depots or pipelines.

Urhlau said dwindling supplies of oil and natural gas could lead to new conflicts and even wars.

"It is important, therefore, to identify potential conflicts over access and distribution and defuse them before they come to a head," the BND president said.

One of the ways to achieve this was for states to increase cooperation, he said, citing the example of Pakistan and India.

The head of Germany's federal chancellery, Thomas de Maiziere, told the gathering that energy was increasingly becoming a factor in the wielding of power.

He cited the example of Russia's Gazprom, which he said had made a series of threats if obstacles were placed in the way of its international expansion.

Last winter Gazprom temporarily cut off supplies of natural gas to Ukraine after the government in Kiev balked at paying higher prices for the fuel.

De Maiziere also warned of the dangers of abuse by emerging economies where nuclear power was seen as a way of lowering their reliance on non-renewable energy sources.

North Korea, which recently tested an atomic device, was an example to the international community that it needs to be firm in dealing with violations of international treaties, he said.

Otherwise there is a threat of a nuclear arms race with dramatic consequences, de Maiziere said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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