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Re: FOR COMMENT: Canadian Pipeline Attack

Released on 2012-06-20 10:00 GMT

Email-ID 1794293
Date 1970-01-01 01:00:00
Yeah, I know that, you know that... does our reader know that? They may
not remember what you are talking about...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ben West"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 11:00:40 AM GMT -05:00 Columbia
Subject: Re: FOR COMMENT: Canadian Pipeline Attack

Attacks took place last week - the fact that police talked to Ludwig is a
fresh trigger and is relevant to the attacks since he pulled off similar
stuff about 10 years ago.

Marko Papic wrote:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ben West"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 10:02:46 AM GMT -05:00 Columbia
Subject: FOR COMMENT: Canadian Pipeline Attack

In connection with the two pipeline attacks last week, Canadian police
talked to Weibo Ludwig yesterday, an activist is he First Nations?
responsible for a series of attacks in the late 1990s. awkward way to
start... let's get a trigger going here... what happened... what
pipeline, what attack? Talking to him indicates that police probably
don't have many clues to go on and so are turning to past suspects. It
also reminds us that pipeline bombings in Canada are not a completely
new thing. However, these latest bombs, however amateurish, appear to
be tied into a wider indigenous movement that has connections to budding
anti-Olympics protests. Regardless of who was behind these attacks or
what the intentions were, they point out inherent security weaknesses in
Canada's pipeline system.

No arrests have yet been made connected to the two attacks on separate
pipelines in northeast British Columbia last week. While neither attack
caused significant physical damage, the second attack did puncture a
hole in the pipe, causing Encana (the pipelinea**s owner and operator)
to shut down the pipeline temporarily while workers repaired the leak.
These leaks were preceded by a letter written to a local newspaper
demanding that Encana and other energy companies leave the area of
Tomslake, where the attacks took place. The letter went on to state
that the author would no longer negotiate and accused the oil & gas
companies of causing health problems in the writera**s community. The
letter also specifically mentions that oil and gas production endangers
their a**home landsa**, a term that is closely linked to the indigenous
-- referred to as First Nations in Canada -- rights movement in Canada.

Certainly not enough details are known about the attacks and police are
still carrying out investigations. So far there is no evidence that
suggests that more than one person could be involved in the attacks, so
we could have a lone wolf bomber on our hands. However, a local tribe,
known as the Kelly Lake Cree, are already involved in a dispute with
Encana over gas production in the area and their recent escalations
indicate that at least a faction of their group could be involved in the

In February of 2008, a Kelly Lake Cree spokesman indicated that plans to
build more pipelines in the area did not include adequate compensation
to the tribe. While the Kelly Lake Cree does not outright own the land
they claim, they have been involved in a legal battle over obtaining a
title from the Canadian government since the mid-1990s. On June 30, the
same band set up a roadblock in the area in an effort to protest land
rights, a tactic commonly used by other indigenous tribes in Canada.
This action was preceded by an emergency evacuation drill which was
aimed at a nearby gas treatment plant as criticism for the

Both of these actions a** the evacuation drill and the indication that
verbal negotiations were not leading to results a** match with the
complaints made in the letter sent October 10. While it is certainly
too early to assume that the Kelly Lake Cree are behind these two
attacks, they certainly would be a suspect of interest for the RCMP.

The Kelly Lake Cree is certainly not the only group that has protested
over health concerns surrounding oil and gas production in the region.
Among many more contemporary citizens who complain of water
contamination and poor air quality, Weibo Ludwig was responsible for
carrying out a campaign targeting the oil and gas industry during the
late 1990s in nearby Hyeth, Alberta. Citing health concerns and neglect
by local officials, Ludwig bombed a drilling platform among many other
oil & gas targets. Ludwig was ultimately apprehended and jailed, but
has since been released. In an interview after being questioned by the
police, he expressed sympathy for those behind the most recent attacks.
Meanwhile, other indigenous groups in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario
have histories of resorting to violence in disputes with authorities and
some are currently involved in disagreements with local oil & gas

According to Canadian census estimates, 1.7 million Canadians
(approximately 5% of the population) claimed First Nation heritage in
2006; 60% of them lived on reservations. Obviously, an overwhelming
majority of these people are peaceful citizens and are tightly
integrated into the communities around them. But the ability to wage
violence can rest with as few as a handful of members, or even a single
member, that have or has been radicalized.-- Careful here... I would
caveat this even more... Canadians really get touchy about this sort of

There is another movement taking shape in Canada right now that would
further contribute to any First Nation protest surrounding the use of
indigenous lands and the oil & gas industry. Canadaa**s western city of
Vancouver is set to host the winter Olympics in 2010 and groups have
already amalgamated around the themes of Canadaa**s human rights abuses
surrounding indigenous rights and the countrya**s booming energy
industry. Protests, like those that formed at stops along the Olympic
Spirit Train that is making stops all across Canada in an effort to drum
up support for the games, have remained small, but their grievances
track closely with those of First Nation groups like the Kelly Lake Cree
in British Columbia, First Nation groups in Saskatchewan protesting
pipeline construction and the Lubicon Cree in Alberta that have joined
up with Amnesty International.

If enough supporters from Canadaa**s ecological, indigenous rights and
anti-capitalist movements joined up with sympathetic elements within
Canadaa**s First Nation population, there is reason to believe that they
could pose a challenge to Canadaa**s Olympic organizers. Protests like
those surrounding the Olympic torch during the preparation for the
Beijing Olympics last summer could plausibly take place in the run up to
Vancouvera**s Olympic Games; the torch relay for which begins a year
from now. You should mention here that the protests leading up to
the winning of the 2010 bid (I think the decision was made in 2004) were
very active, if not violent. Look up some info on that... and that was
just about the bid/

Regardless of what may come to pass surrounding the 2010 olympics in
Vancouver, these most recent attacks show an escalation in hostility
towards oil & gas projects in Canada. This poses a challenge to energy
companies like Encana, who are unable to completely secure the 27,000
miles of pipelines in British Columbia alone. The perceived adverse
health affects of a pipe rupture would also negatively affect those
companiesa** image a** regardless of who was ultimately behind the

Ben West
Terrorism and Security Analyst
Cell: 512-750-9890

_______________________________________________ Analysts mailing list

Marko Papic

Stratfor Junior Analyst
C: + 1-512-905-3091
AIM: mpapicstratfor


Analysts mailing list


Ben West
Terrorism and Security Analyst
Cell: 512-750-9890

_______________________________________________ Analysts mailing list LIST

Marko Papic

Stratfor Junior Analyst
C: + 1-512-905-3091
AIM: mpapicstratfor