Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Stop the "War on Terror" from being exported North

This is nothing but an intimidation against the people who think the plans being hatched by the Canadian and American governments for oil and gas are absolutely insane. We must not let the "War on Terror" be brought to the north!

Please alert people about this and take appropriate measures.


Terror exercise to be held at NWT oil facility

Updated Mon. Apr. 2 2007 6:43 PM ET

Canadian Press

EDMONTON -- The Canadian military, law enforcement agencies and two of the country's largest energy companies are preparing for a possible terrorist attack on Canada's oil and gas infrastructure.

More than 200 military personnel will mass in the Northwest Territories later this month to practise their response to a simulated attack on major oil facilities by a fictional Edmonton-based al Qaeda sleeper cell, said Lt.-Col. Kevin Tyler of the Yellowknife-based Joint Task Force North.

The task force is the branch of the Canadian Forces charged with defending the Arctic.

The fake scenario involves the RCMP calling in the military for help after an attack on oil-pumping and pipeline facilities at Norman Wells by an "al Qaeda-type'' terrorist group, said Tyler.

"This is a small cell of two (terrorists) in Edmonton who have travelled up to the N.W.T. who have received orders to mount an attack. They have tried to plant some small explosive devices to try and disrupt the flow of oil.''

Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO) owns extensive oilfields near the town, located west of Great Bear Lake along the Mackenzie River.

The field is served by an 870-kilometre pipeline linked to the Rainbow Pipeline system at Zama, Alta. That pipeline, owned by Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB), is designed to carry up to 30,000 barrels of oil a day.

The April 16-27 exercise, dubbed Operation Narwhal, will involve 150 primary reservists from the Maritimes operating in both Norman Wells and Fort Simpson, N.W.T., to the south. Aurora surveillance aircraft, Griffon helicopters and Twin Otter airplanes based in Yellowknife will also be brought in, involving 140 support staff and air crew.

RCMP officers and emergency preparedness officials will also take part, as will representatives from Imperial and Enbridge.

"The idea is (prevention), and if there is an attack, the idea is to mitigate,'' said Tyler.

Two soldiers will be designated as terrorists and will play out a script written by the exercise's management.

As part of the practice, infantry soldiers will patrol critical pieces of infrastructure such as pumping stations to try to prevent an attack. Soldiers will be armed, but will not be carrying live ammunition.

"The army will be out near the infrastructure, looking for terrorists and protecting the pipeline repair group,'' Tyler said.

Imperial Oil spokesman Pius Rolheiser said the exercise is not expected to disrupt the company's operations.

"We see this as an opportunity to test our own security systems,'' he said.

"We aren't actually going to be deploying people. It's primarily to test our communications links with outside agencies.''

RCMP officers will be available mostly to consult with military officials, said Sgt. Larry O'Brien in Yellowknife.

"We have people who are overseeing certain aspects of it, to say, `This is what we would do in this case.'''

Operation Narwhal is the result of years of planning by the Arctic Security Working Group that started in 2004, said Tyler.

It's the latest in a series of such emergency simulations. Three years ago, the military mounted an exercise in the waters off Pangnirtung, a Nunavut community on southeast Baffin Island, premised on a foreign country attempting to retrieve a satellite that had fallen from orbit into the waters of the Davis Strait.

"We have to do these exercises,'' said Tyler. "The lessons will be applicable anywhere in Canada.''

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