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Cablegate: Critical Infrastructure Protection in Saudi: Next

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DE RUEHRH #1230/01 2241610
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O 111610Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8948
INFO RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH IMMEDIATE 9673
RUEHRH/CHUSMTM RIYADH SA IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/COMUSCENTAF SHAW AFB SC IMMEDIATE
RHRMAKS/COMUSNAVCENT IMMEDIATE
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE 0235
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE
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RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

S E C R E T RIYADH 001230

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ARP, S/CT, AND PM
WHITE HOUSE FOR OVP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/10/2018
TAGS: ECON ENRG EPET PGOV PINR PREL PTER SA
SUBJECT: CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION IN SAUDI: NEXT
STEPS

Classified By: Charge' d'Affaires Michael Gfoeller
for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D)

1. (S) SUMMARY. The enormous Saudi energy facilities located
in the Kingdom's Eastern Province, which provide
approximately 12 percent of global oil supply, remain highly
vulnerable to external attack. Even partial disruption of
these production facilities would have an immediate impact on
oil supplies and prices, with a likely devastating impact on
the U.S. national economy and the global economy as a whole.
The Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA) on Critical
Infrastructure Protection (CIP) signed at the US-Saudi Summit
Meeting in May by the Secretary and Saudi Interior Minister
Prince Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz created a Joint Commission to
oversee bilateral cooperation in implementing CIP. Developing
and implementing the Joint Commission's technical work
program is a foremost priority to ensure the production and
supply of Saudi oil is secure from terrorist attack. As we
move to stand up the Joint Commission, Embassy Riyadh
proposes the attached substantive work plan for the next
12-18 months, which Saudi Ministry of Interior (MOI)
interlocutors have confirmed corresponds to their priorities.
In addition, we should also make progress on setting up the
management and financial structure of the Joint Commission,
without which the substantive work program cannot move
forward swiftly and efficiently. END SUMMARY.


CONTINGENCY PLANNING
--------- ---------

2. (S) Background: During President Bush's May 2008 visit to
the Kingdom, Secretary Rice signed the
Technical Cooperation Agreement authorizing the formation of
the Joint Commission on Infrastructure and
Border Protection. Developing and implementing the
Commission's technical work program is a foremost
priority to ensure the supply of Saudi oil is secure from
attack. The Saudi Ministry of Interior's (MOI)
first priority for the existing Joint Working Group (JWG) on
Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) and
the new Joint Commission on Infrastructure and Border
Protection is completing work on contingency planning
for key critical infrastructure facilities. The MOI is
deeply concerned about possible attacks on these
facilities by Al-Qaeda or other terrorist networks, whether
domestic or international, or by hostile
neighbors, particularly Iran.

3. (S) This contingency planning provides for systematic
study, planning, and regular exercising - before
a catastrophic attack - to ensure resiliency of capability
and operations. It provides for designing
system redundancy ahead of time, and planning for both
government and company measures which allow
maximum recoverability of operations in the fastest possible
period of time. Proper contingency planning
mitigates the worst consequences of an attack. Together with
proper security measures, contingency planning
provides for continuity of business and operations under
extreme conditions.

4. (S) So far, the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Critical
Infrastructure Protection (CIP) and a select
inter-agency team have completed a review of a number of
existing Saudi contingency plans, including those
from Saudi Aramco, SABIC (petrochemical), SWEC (water), SEC
(power), the Royal Commissions of Yanbu and
Jubail (integrated industrial cities), and Civil Defense, a
department within MOI (civil response). The
plans were generally found to be less than credible, given
high terrorism and transnational threats to
key installations. The Saudi Aramco plans were better
developed than some of the others. Yet while
the plans were of superior quality, they do not appear to be
regularly exercised, so the assessors remain
doubtful they could be implemented to a high standard.

5. (S) In our JWG meetings to date with the MOI, we have
explained the U.S. government-industry partnership
model for contingency planning - we coordinate jointly, and
engage in regular crisis simulations and
exercises together to practice this cooperation. We noted
the USG is responsible for continuity and
response plans, while industry is responsible for continuity
of operations and recovery plans.


PROPOSED NEXT STEPS IN CONTINGENCY PLANNING
-------- --------------- --------------

6. (S) The next steps include conducting a gap analysis of
the existing Saudi contingency plans, carrying
out mitigation planning, and working with the MOI and the
Saudi parastatal firms (e.g., Saudi Aramco, SABIC,
SEC, SWEC) to develop generally more robust contingency
planning documents. Finally, we should work with
the MOI and these parastatal firms to conduct table top
exercises, and eventually, full-scale crisis
simulations. The annual planning and exercise cycles should
be followed by comprehensive plan reviews.
In the future, this work may be coordinated through the JWG
on CIP, as well as the newly-established
Joint Working Group on Homeland Security.

7. (S) The completion of vulnerability assessments, as noted
below, should proceed simultaneously, as this work
will provide additional engineering and security knowledge
for the contingency planning.


VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT OF OIL FACILITIES
---------- -------------------- -----

8. (S) We have worked with the Ministry of Interior since
2006 to identify the Kingdom's most critical
infrastructure and assess its vulnerabilities. We have
provided preliminary security recommendations
to defend several of the most important energy installations,
including Abqaiq, Qateef Junction, Ras Tanura,
and the Royal Commission cities of Jubail and Yanbu.
However, in light of the increasing threat facing
these facilities, the paradigm has changed. We are now
moving to apply in Saudi Arabia the same model
we use to protect nuclear facilities internationally - a
highly-rigorous, mathematical, and engineering-based
model. This model is named Design-Based Threat (DBT), which
has been presented to the Kingdom by Sandia
National Laboratories under the direction of the Department
of Energy. Sandia has provided similar training
to forces protecting nuclear facilities all over the world
where the USG deems it in our strategic national
interest.

9. (S) In June 2007, under the direction of a technical team
from Sandia Labs, a twenty-two person security
team composed of officials from the Ministry of Interior, and
security officials from Saudi Aramco, SABIC,
SEC, and SWEC (the energy, petrochemical, power and water
sectors) completed a ranking of the Kingdom's most
important critical infrastructure. Facilities were ranked as
Tier I, II, and III according to their criticality
to the Kingdom and world. The Sandia team also provided
associated training to these officials on threat-based design
and improving security at individual installations.

10. (S) Training included identifying internal and external
threats (also domestic vs. international),
the motivations, intentions and capabilities of these threats
(group size, weapons, explosives, tools,
transport, skills, funding, collusion, etc.), collecting and
organizing threat-related information,
formalizing threat-related information, defining a
threat-based design from the threat assessment,
and introducing the threat-based design into the national
regulatory framework.


PROPOSED NEXT STEPS IN VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT
--------- ----------------- ----------------

11. (S) In order to understand the vulnerabilities of the
Kingdom's infrastructure at an in-depth level,
we must move from the 2-3 day "walk-the-fence" security
overviews we have conducted in the past. We used
these overviews to provided useful but preliminary security
recommendations to the MOI.

12. (S) The Vulnerability Assessment (VA) is an in-depth,
technical review of the facility's operational
and security systems. The VA includes a 2-week on-site data
collection and discussion period, followed by
a month-long data analysis period. The Saudi MOI would
receive VA results and recommendations within about
one month after completion of the on-site data collection in
Saudi Arabia. We are particularly concerned to
identify Abqaiq components which were custom-manufactured
several decades ago, in the 1970s, and for which
Saudi Aramco may have no replacements or spare parts. Such
single-point failures would be of grave concern.

13. (S) The assessment of Abqaiq Plants, the Kingdom's most
critical facility, is currently ongoing and will
be completed by late August, 2008. An in-depth analysis of
Abqaiq's engineering plans and drawings, along
with extended access to and discussion with key technical
personnel, are being done to better understand the
plant's specific vulnerabilities. The Saudis' willingness to
share this level of technical detail with us
on the world's most important petroleum facility is
unprecedented in our relationship. Only two
successive Presidential visits and the signing of the TCA
could have made this level of cooperation possible.

14. (S) After conducting the VA of Abqaiq, we recommend the
next move be a similar assessment of the Ras Tanura Complex.
Ras Tanura is Saudi Arabia's largest crude oil export
facility, and includes export facilities,
tank farms, Sea Island crude loading facility, a refinery,
and a host of other associated facilities.
Ras Tanura can export more than 5 million-plus barrels/day of
crude, and should be the USG's next facility
of major concern. A VA of Ras Tanura will be several orders
of magnitude more complex than Abqaiq, as the
complex is vast, over 10 kilometers long, and includes both
land-based and maritime facilities. In spite
of these difficulties, given Ras Tanura's role in crude
exports, conducting a VA of Ras Tanura is key to
USG interests.

15. (S) After conducting VAs of these two facilities, we
should engage the MOI in discussions regarding the
next target for a VA, using a list of Tier I facilities to
guide our discussions. The next target facility
could be a major desalination or power plant, which may not
meet specific USG interests. However, the
Saudi government could view such facilities as critical to
its ability to sustain essential services to
its population. We may wish to propose a VA of the Jubail
Desalinization Plant (second on the Saudi's list
of critical infrastructure after Abqaiq), an argument which
likely find favor with the Saudi government. The
Jubail Desalinization Plant provides Riyadh with over 90% of
its drinking water. Riyadh would have to evacuate
within a week if the plant, its pipelines, or associated
power infrastructure were seriously damaged or
destroyed. The current structure of the Saudi government
could not exist without the Jubail Desalinization
Plant.

16. (S) Future work on VA issues should be coordinated
through the JWG on CIP, as well as the newly-established
Joint Working Groups on Ports and Oil Terminals, and JWG on
Coast Guard.


NATIONAL THREAT NOTIFICATION SYSTEM PLANNING
--------------- -------------------------

17. (S) Saudi Arabia currently has no coordinated, national
threat notification system. Individual firms,
such as Saudi Aramco, do have threat warning systems.
However, they are not coordinated or linked with a
government security force threat warning system. Development
of a national threat warning system is critical
to the MOI's ability to protect critical infrastructure from
terrorism or other threats, and to carry out
robust civil response functions.

18. (S) During a July DOE delegation visit to Riyadh led by
Assistant Secretary Kolevar, DOE Infrastructure
System Analyst Vandermey presented a brief to Saudi Joint
Working Group Co-Chair Dr. Saud-Al Semari on the
U.S. threat warning systems. She explained DHS's Homeland
Security Advisory System and the U.S. Coast Guard
Maritime Security System (MARSEC). Our MOI interlocutors
were particularly impressed to learn how the USG
works with industry in implementing the threat warning
system, sharing information on an as-needed basis, and
even sponsoring some industry personnel for security
clearances so that information could be better shared.
MOI, DOE, and Embassy interlocutors discussed the utility of
restricting a specific threat warning to a given
region, city, or industrial sector.


PROPOSED NEXT STEPS IN NATIONAL THREAT NOTIFICATION SYSTEM
-------- ------------------ -------------------------

19. (S) Dr. Saud-Al Semari requested the USG make available
an employee who is familiar with the U.S. threat
warning systems to assist the MOI in implementing a threat
warning system for Saudi Arabia. DOE Assistant
Secretary Kevin Kolevar offered DOE Infrastructure System
Analyst Carissa Vandermay to provide initial guidance
in August 2008. We are waiting for an MOI response to this
offer, which we expect to be strongly positive.
After these initial meetings, we should identify a USG
expert, Vandermay if possible, for an additional 1-2
months in the Kingdom to further develop the national threat
warning system. In the future, this work may
be coordinated through the newly-established Joint Working
Group on Homeland Security.


FACILITIES SECURITY FORCES TRAINING
---------------- -----------------

20. (S) By 2007, the Saudi MOI had identified the Facilities
Security Force (FSF) as the primary organization
responsible for protecting the country's critical energy
infrastructure. They determined the force would
be organized and trained for defensive and offensive missions
in the protection of oil, gas, national power,
and other sites that were heretofore under the protection of
various branches of the MOI and MODA. Proposed civilian
nuclear power production facilities would also be under he
FSF umbrella. MOI is in the process of recruiting
and training an entirely new force of 35,000 personnel for
this purpose. To date, over 10,000 new recruits
have been put through initial training, with forces from the
Ministry of Defense and Aviation (MODA) and the Saudi
Arabian National Guard (SANG) reinforcing the FSF in its role
until the FSF is fully staffed.

21. (S) Since the 2007 JWG discussions, the FSF has been a
component of the JWG framework. FSF officers
participated in the June 2007 workshop on threat analysis and
contingency planning. Based on this training,
in January 2008, a highly experienced group of Sandia
trainers conducted an assessment of several FSF
training centers, training doctrine, and courses. The
Embassy's Defense Attach Office and Economic section
also participated.

22. (S) The assessment provided MOI with recommendations on a
number of key organizational changes to support
the MOI's goal of rapidly expanding FSF manpower to assume
security responsibilities. The assessment team
recommended FSF quickly expand the Training Department, and
separate it from the FSF Operations Unit.
With this new emphasis on training, the training staff could
recruit and train more instructors. They recommended
a more rigorous process for selecting trainers with the
appropriate background (much of the FSF instructor
staff was taken from MOI and MODA units that are devoted to
traditional combat arms, rather than facilities protection).
The assessment team recommended FSF seek new training
technology to improve the standard of
training. Additionally, the assessment team encouraged MOI
to fully support the establishment of a dedicated
FSF academy and the expansion of FSF training facilities.


PROPOSED NEXT STEPS FOR FACILITIES SECURITY FORCES
------------ --------- ---------------------

23. (S) The FSF is rapidly assuming its role as a 35,000-plus
man uniformed security force charged with defending
Saudi Arabia's critical infrastructure. This includes
defending Saudi Arabia's critical infrastructure
against terrorist attack, and could include close cooperation
and coordination with MODA and SANG in the event of an
attack by a regional neighbor. A large training contract
will be required to support the creation of the FSF,
along the lines of what private contractors such as Vinnel do
now under the auspices of the Office of the Program Manager -
Saudi Arabian National Guard (OPM-SANG). However, even after
a training contract is signed with a suitable contractor,
significant USG personnel assets would be necessary to
support the creation and training of the FSF, and to advise
its leadership.

24. (S) There seems to be a clear role for DOD and CENTCOM to
play here. Training, equipment, and doctrine would
all seem to be areas in which CENTCOM could bring a great
deal to the table. The MOI is moving ahead swiftly to
train the FSF, regardless of our involvement. They have
already asked Pakistan and other forces to assist in
this training during the past year, as we have been unable to
respond quickly with further assistance. The nature
of the Facilities Security Force's mission places it squarely
in CENTCOM's area of responsibility (AOR). It
seems advisable to expedite the USG efforts to train and
equip the FSF, in order to assure this vital
initiative remains within the purview of U.S.- Saudi
security cooperation, instead of being subcontracted to a
third state. DoD involvement, of course, is predicated upon
obtaining the proper legal authorities.

CREATING A FINANCING PIPELINE
-----------------------------

25. (S) The MOI has told us multiple times they are ready to
pay nearly all the costs of CIP implementation.
The CIP Agreement contains this Saudi commitment. An
essential next step in this regard is the establishment of
the necessary financial pipeline, which would consist of a
bank account at the Federal Reserve, under the Treasury
Department's supervision. One available option for this
financing might be the old account once used by the US-Saudi
Joint Economic Commission (JECOR), which still exists. Once
we have the account established, MOI has promised to begin to
fund CIP activities. CIP implementation should then progress
quickly, while placing a minimal financial burden on the USG.

ESTABLISHING A CIP COORDINATOR POSITION
----------- -------------------------

26. (S) CIP will be a complex undertaking. Proper
implementation of this major initiative will require a
dedicated, senior-level officer at post, operating under the authority
of the Chief of Mission. Given the Saudis' sense of urgency
regarding CIP and the very real nature of the threat from
Iran and al-Qaeda to the Kingdom's energy sector, this
position should be created and staffed as son as possible. The
incumbent would oversee all aspects of CIP implementation at
post and deal on a daily basis with senior figures in the Saudi
government, especially the MOI, on CIP issues. The incumbent
would also oversee all other personnel at post involved in
CIP implementation.


AN HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY TO COUNTER A MAJOR THREAT
----------- ------------ ---------------------

27. (S) COMMENT AND RECOMMENDATION: The continuing
vulnerability of Saudi Arabia's strategic oil and gas
production facilities represents an Achilles' heel for US
strategic interests in the Kingdom and the broader Gulf
region, not to mention US economic security in general. In
the estimation of the MOI, these facilities face a serious
threat from both al-Qaeda and Iran. Al-Qaeda in fact
attacked one of the Kingdom's key energy sector sites, the
Abqaiq oil and gas separator, in February 2006. Describing
the terrorists' failure in that assault, Prince Muhammad bin
Naif remarked to the Charge', "We did not save Abqaiq, God
did." Had the attack been successful, it could have reduced
Saudi Arabia's oil production and export capacity severely,
in addition to drastically impacting the Saudi gas industry.
The effect on oil prices of a successful repeat attack on
Abqaiq or another key energy sector site would be
catastrophic. The Saudis realize this. Indeed, it was the
psychological shock produced by the Abqaiq incident that
first led the Saudis to consider creating the Facilities
Security Force, begin CIP talks with the USG, and conclude
the CIP Agreement with us this May.

28. (S) USG participation in CIP could offer us tremendous
opportunities. CIP implementation has huge commercial
potential, which could be measured in billions of dollars
worth of contracts. More importantly, it would result in the
largest expansion of USG influence in Saudi Arabia in a
generation, via the creation of a qualitatively new
relationship with the MOI. If we move quickly, we can seize this
opportunity. If we wait too long, the Saudis could potentially
decide to offer it to one of our competitors. Such a
development would lead to a permanent loss of US influence in
this strategically vital country. We therefore recommend
rapid implementation of the proposed CIP work plan,
establishment of a CIP funding mechanism, and the creation
and staffing of a senior-level CIP Coordinator position at
Embassy Riyadh under the authority of the Chief of Mission.
END COMMENT AND RECOMMENDATION.
GFOELLER

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