Why Was Osama bin Laden Obsessed With America's Oil Supply?

Monday, May 23, 2011

In an article entitled, Osama's Oil Obsession, Daveed Gartenstin-Ross writes:

The killing of Osama bin Laden has provided the U.S. public with a stark reminder of the risks posed by America's dependence on foreign sources of oil. On May 20, the Department of Homeland Security issued a new bulletin outlining al Qaeda's interest in targeting oil and natural gas infrastructure based on evidence unearthed after the Navy SEAL raid that killed the terrorist chief. "In 2010, there was continuing interest by members of al Qaeda in targeting oil tankers and commercial infrastructure at sea," said a DHS spokesman...

Bin Laden long believed that undermining the U.S. economy was central to his war against the United States — an outlook that has permeated al Qaeda's ranks and will outlive him.

Al Qaeda views attacking the oil supply as a smart strategy for good reason: America's reliance on oil for its transportation needs makes it a commodity that, if disrupted or made unaffordable, will cause the U.S. economy to collapse.

The United States holds only 3 percent of conventional global oil reserves, yet uses 25 percent of the world's daily production. It imports more than 66 percent of its oil, amounting to a daily purchase of 12 million barrels of imported oil. A significant rise in the price of oil due to a terrorist attack would deal al Qaeda's main enemy a severe economic blow.

The potential of either al Qaeda or OPEC to seriously cripple our economy is the single most compelling reason for the Open Fuel Standard Act. We must end that vulnerability, and Open Fuel is the fastest, cheapest way to do it.

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