'Chromite mines in Orissa, K'taka critical to US interest' | world | Hindustan Times
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'Chromite mines in Orissa, K'taka critical to US interest'

world Updated: Dec 06, 2010 22:03 IST

Two little known chromite mines in Orissa and Karnataka, besides a factory in Gujarat that manufactures critical chemotherapy drugs are among global "key infrastructures" which could pose a danger to America’s national security if they come under terrorist attack, a secret US cable released by WikiLeaks has revealed.

The classified State Department cable dated February 18, 2009 asks its diplomatic posts to update a secret list of key infrastructures across the globe which are vital of America's national security interests and needs to be protected from any terrorist attacks.

The secret list includes only three infrastructure projects from India. "Orissa (chromite mines) and Karnataka (chromite mines) Generamedix Gujurat: Chemotherapy agents, including florouracil and methotrexate," the cable said.

"Loss" of these infrastructures in foreign countries "could critically impact the public health, economic security, and/or national and homeland security of the United States," it underlined.

The highly secretive American list, which has now appeared in the public domain, include undersea cables, key communications, ports, mineral resources and firms of strategic importance in countries from the Uk to New Zealand, Africa, the Middle East and China.

A Siemens factory in Germany does "essentially irreplaceable production of key chemicals" while a Canadian hydroelectric plant is termed as a "critical irreplaceable source of power to portions of Northeast US.

It also included European manufacturers of vaccines for smallpox and rabies, an Italian maker of treatment for snake-bite venom, and a German company making treatment for plutonium poisoning.

"Critical infrastructure" is defined as systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States the incapacitation or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters," according to cable leaked by the whistle-blower website.

The newly released diplomatic cable is one of the most explosive yet out of many leaked by the website that have heaped embarrassment on Washington and caused anger around the world.

The US, which has charged Wikileaks of indulging in a criminal act by stealing and releasing these cables, has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of these documents.