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February 22, 2006
Don't Do Dubai Dubya
byLarry C Johnson
If Dubai Ports World (DPW) does as nifty a job of running our ports as it has done running the freeport in Dubai then we are screwed.
This is not about the fact that police and security officials from the United Arab Emirates have been helping us track down Al Qaeda operatives and other ornery jihadists. The issue here is the fact that the port in Dubai is one of the major ports in the world involved with smuggling of counterfeit and contraband product. A few years ago, for example, I was alerted to a shipment of several containers of cigarettes from Panama's port of Colon to Dubai. The addressee on the invoice? Al Rabea Spare Car Parts. Now, last time I checked, cigarettes are not and never have been an automobile spare car part.
Other items, including consumer electronics, liquor, HP print cartridges, make their way to Dubai and are then smuggled into tough areas like Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. And what is Dubai Ports World doing to crackdown on this activity? Nothing.
The inability or refusal to deal with the use of ports under the control of Dubai Ports World that are involved with smuggling is reason enough to stop this deal dead in its tracks. The owners of DPW are not the ones cooperating closely with the United States in tracking down the terrorists who attacked us. Instead, they have close ties to a host of shipping companies, including those owned by the Bin Laden family.
The challenge of smuggling a dirty nuke is comparable to smuggling containers of cigarettes, liquor, and shoes. If DPW will not stop the latter how can we be confident they will prevent the former? That's a security bet we should not take or make.
Posted by Larry Johnson on February 22, 2006 at 08:20 PM