In Amenas Attack Predicted in Advance

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 00:00 Yaron Vorona
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Exclusive Analysis, a London-based risk assessor and forecaster, warned twice last year that oil and gas assets in southern Algeria and foreign personnel employed there could be the target of kidnapping and attacks by Jihadist militants.

In an ominously near-accurate prediction, intelligence experts at the firm referred to the In Amenas gas plant by name, warning foreign employees working there "would be at risk" from kidnapping for ransom.

[...]"Weeks before September 11 the U.S. intelligence warned against plane hijacking but the White House couldn't address the threat appropriately because it wasn't specific enough," said Dr. Gal Luft, a senior adviser to the United States Energy Security Council and a former lieutenant colonel in the Israel Defense Forces.

"Issuing a warning is easy; acting on them is a whole different matter," Luft added. "My main takeaway from the episode is the importance of better coordination between private and public sectors in such energy compounds. Our experience shows that many of the attacks are aided by insiders who are not sufficiently vetted."

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