Monday, September 10, 2007

Very Sophisticated Sabotage

Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom. Six explosions go off at four different natural gas pipelines in the pre-dawn hours this morning. No one in the Mexican government or government owned Pemex Corporation even bother doing the “wait until the facts are in” song and dance. This is an act of sabotage against the North American energy infrastructure.

Houston Chronicle: Mexican officials sought Monday to calm the public and energy markets about the severity of the threat. They said the fires resulting from some of the explosions were quickly brought under control by Pemex crews. "Pemex's fundamental installations are adequately protected by our armed forces," said Francisco Ramirez, Mexico's interior minister. "We will act energetically to find those responsible."

The sophistication required to coordinate multiple simultaneous attacks makes this something a little more serious than a small band of discontents with matches.

Al Qaeda in Mexico? Pemex is reporting six coordinated explosions in a large-scale act of sabotage of its eastern natural gas pipelines. Well, you hear that, and, if you've got a brain, you think, "terrorism," or at least, "Chavez." Turns out there's evidence linking the EPR, who's claiming responsibility, to al Qaeda.

WorldNetDaily: Another Pakistani document shows the links between al-Qaida and Mexico's Popular Revolutionary Army, EPR. The documents reveal that al-Qaida sees EPR as collaborators in attacks in Mexico on foreign targets – "especially those of the United States and Britain." It also says that EPR can play a key role in allowing al-Qaida operatives to enter the United States through the busiest land crossing in the world – Tijuana.

EPR: The Popular Revolutionary Army (Ejercito Popular Revolucionario, EPR) is a socialist group that was created in 1996 with the goal of toppling the government of Mexico. The EPR's main region of influence is the southern states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas; however, more recently the group has splintered into a number of smaller groups operating in the south of Mexico.

The recent splintering of EPR is a concern. It may indicate the most extreme individuals are choosing to freelance and are in the market for benefactors. The Al Qaeda lineage groups are very good at planning coordinated assaults so it is reasonable to ask if Islamic terrorist groups are assisting Latin American socialist guerilla groups.

It is well known that Hugo Chavez is pouring money into socialist causes and the Venezuelan President is actively partnering with Iran and their Hezbollah Army of God. Rebels can be extremely dangerous with only small arms. Given financial support and access to military grade explosives, their power to be destructive goes way up.