Security measures have been made tougher at the US national water facilities after reports about al-Qaeda terrorists working on a large-scale diversion aimed at depriving the country of fresh water. Time reported in its last issue that intelligence services had reported about it from Afghanistan.
Tom Curtis, the head of the US water treating facilities association supplying 80% of the US population with water said in an interview to the magazine that the FBI had warned him of a possible large-scale sabotage. As Time reported, extra security measures have been taken at the most important objects of the water supply system, pumping stations, and water pipes of US's largest cities, first of all.
At the same time, law enforcement authorities have no information about actual plans of terrorist attacks on US water supply systems. It is reported that specialists from the bin Laden-led terrorist network “received guides to the operation of water treating facilities and other objects of the system; the materials can be used to plan a terrorist attack,” Tom Curtis says. It is not ruled out that a lorry stuffed with explosives will be used for committing acts of terrorism at water treatment facilities. Experts say that the probability of the group polluting water reservoirs with toxic agents is not significant, because several tons of toxins would be required for this. If biologically active agents are used for water pollution, they will be destroyed during the water treatment procedure. Al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubeida, who was arrested in Pakistan in March, confirmed the information about plans to commit more terrorist attacks. Abu Zubeida is now kept at the US naval base on Diego-Garcia island in the Indian ocean. According to Time, Zubeida was transferred to the base from a US Navy ship. US officials refused to comment on the location of the terrorist. Western experts dealing with the anti-terrorist struggle consider Abu Zubeida as a possible candidate to the post of al-Qaeda leader in case of death of Osama bin Laden and Aiman az-Zavahiri, the second-most important person in al-Qaeda. According to some sources, Zubeida was a connecting link between bin Laden and the executors of the Sept.11 terrorist attacks in the USA. Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/07/15/44171.html