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Leaked Wikileaks' cables list 'vital US security' facilities

December 7, 2010 - Washington

Secret US diplomatic cables released by the whistleblower website 'Wikileaks' have revealed a long list of key facilities around the world that the US describes as vital to its national security.

According to the BBC, the list includes pipelines, communication and transport hubs.

Besides, a number of BAE Systems plants involved in joint weapons programmes with the Americans are listed, along with a marine engineering firm in Edinburgh which is said to be "critical" for nuclear powered submarines.

BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus has said that this is probably the most controversial document leaked by Wikileaks, which might be embracing for the US.

"What the list might do is to prompt potential attackers to look at a broader range of targets," he added.

Other facilities on the list include Cobalt mine in Congo, anti-snake venom factory in Australia, and insulin plant in Denmark. In Britain, the list ranges from Cornwall to Scotland, including key satellite communications sites and the places where trans-Atlantic cables make landfall, the report said.

According to Marcus, if America wants to wage a "global war on terror," then this represents a global directory of the key installations and facilities, many of them medical or industrial, which are of vital importance to Washington.

Some locations are given unique billing. The Nadym gas pipeline junction in western Siberia, for example, is described as "the most critical gas facility in the world", the report added.

Meanwhile, former UK Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, has condemned the Wikileaks' move as "irresponsible".

"This is further evidence that they have been generally irresponsible, bordering on criminal. This is the kind of information terrorists are interested in knowing," Sir Malcolm added.

Wikileaks lawyer Mark Stevens, however, denied that Wikileaks was putting people and facilities at risk.

"I don't think there's anything new in that. What I think is new is the fact that it's been published by Wikileaks and of course we have the Wikileaks factor because a number of governments have been embarrassed by what's happened," he added.


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