`Mines in Orissa, K`taka critical to US interest`

US have interest in Chromite mines of Orissa & K`taka, a factory in Guj that manufactures chemotherapy drugs.

Last Updated: Dec 07, 2010, 00:03 AM IST

Washington: Two little known chromite
mines in Orissa and Karnataka, besides a factory in Gujarat
that manufactures critical chemotherapy drugs are among global
"key infrastructures" which could pose a danger to America’s
national security if they come under terrorist attack, a
secret US cable released by WikiLeaks has revealed.

The classified State Department cable dated February
18, 2009 asks its diplomatic posts to update a secret list of
key infrastructures across the globe which are vital of
America`s national security interests and needs to be
protected from any terrorist attacks.

The secret list includes only three infrastructure
projects from India. "Orissa (chromite mines) and Karnataka
(chromite mines) Generamedix Gujurat: Chemotherapy agents,
including florouracil and methotrexate," the cable said.

"Loss" of these infrastructures in foreign countries
"could critically impact the public health, economic security,
and/or national and homeland security of the United States,"
it underlined.

The highly secretive American list, which has now
appeared in the public domain, include undersea cables, key
communications, ports, mineral resources and firms of
strategic importance in countries from the Uk to New Zealand,
Africa, the Middle East and China.

A Siemens factory in Germany does "essentially
irreplaceable production of key chemicals" while a Canadian
hydroelectric plant is termed as a "critical irreplaceable
source of power to portions of Northeast US.

It also included European manufacturers of vaccines
for smallpox and rabies, an Italian maker of treatment for
snake-bite venom, and a German company making treatment for
plutonium poisoning.

"Critical infrastructure" is defined as systems and
assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United
States the incapacitation or destruction of such systems and
assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national
economic security, national public health or safety, or any
combination of those matters," according to cable leaked by
the whistle-blower website.

The newly released diplomatic cable is one of the most
explosive yet out of many leaked by the website that have
heaped embarrassment on Washington and caused anger around the
world.

The US, which has charged Wikileaks of indulging in a
criminal act by stealing and releasing these cables, has
neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of these
documents.

PTI