TERRORIST group Al Qaeda is said to be targeting the Strait of Gibraltar with plans to blow up oil tankers and hijack cargo ships.
In a move that has the Royal Navy stationed in Gibraltar on ‘red alert,’ the terrorist organisation once headed by Osama bin Laden is urging jihadists to sabotage oil tankers and cargo ships in an effort to wreak havoc on the economy.
A new Al Qaeda magazine, named Resurgence, revealed the terror group’s latest plans and also states that British oil workers in the Middle East are “at risk.”
Thousands of gallons of oil pass through the Strait of Gibraltar each year, accounting for as much as 65 per cent of the West’s oil. Terror chiefs have issued their chilling new instructions to jihadis despite the fact that thousands of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) ships patrol the waters of the Mediterranean’s vital trade route.
Instructions in Resurgence urge jihadis to target oil tankers in Gibraltar with explosives and to hijack cargo ships and then run them aground, according to the Daily Mail.
A statement on the NATO website said: “Keeping the Mediterranean’s busy trade routes open and safe is critical to NATO’s security. In terms of energy alone, some 65 per cent of the oil and natural gas consumed in Western Europe pass through the Mediterranean each year, with major pipelines connecting Libya to Italy and Morocco to Spain. For this reason, NATO ships are systematically carrying out preparatory route surveys in ‘choke’ points as well as in important passages and harbours throughout the Mediterranean.”
According to the Sunday Express, a Gibraltar government source said that this is “not the first time threats have been made to target merchant ships passing through the Strait.” An estimated 5,000 oil tankers pass through the Strait each year.