Anti-Terrorism Expert Warns Of Possible Targets In Oklahoma

Tuesday, May 10th 2011, 1:00 am
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A week after Osama Bin Laden's death, the concern has quickly turned to the possibility of retaliation. An Oklahoma man who has been responsible for the capture of al Qaeda members said Oklahoma is sitting on several potential terrorist targets.

Former U.S. diplomatic security officer and counter-terrorism expert Sean Crain said he believes Oklahoma is on terrorists' radar.

"It would be relatively naive to think that they are not aware of the infrastructure here in Oklahoma and the impact it would have if an attack is pulled off," Crain said.

More specifically, Crain said the state's natural resources are a prime target.

"Probably pipelines in my opinion," Crain said.

Cushing is home to one of North America's largest hubs for crude oil. Taking out a pipeline would cause major disruptions.

"If those are disturbed, interrupted or destroyed, it would have a large impact across the nation," Crain said.

Crain said cell groups will also look for targets they can infiltrate without years of planning. Large crowds like the state fair or the mall provide an easy cover.

"That's where you find the biggest vulnerability," Crain said.

Even sporting events could be on extremists' list of targets. Crain said he wants to remind the public that even though al Qaeda's top leader may be dead, terrorism is still alive.

"We shouldn't walk around and be fearful, but people need to be aware," Crain said.

Crain said before terrorists turn to local targets, they will do most of their dirty work overseas. He said he will not be surprised if North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula become hot beds of activity.

Crain also said bin Laden's death will have a double impact on al Qaeda. He said it will cause some followers who were on the fence to question their allegiance, and others will become more radical and want to retaliate.