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Bay Area Coast Guard Not Surprised Bin Laden Planned To Target Oil Tankers

ALAMEDA (CBS SF) - Revelations that Osama bin Laden considered hijacking and blowing up U.S. oil tankers in order to provoke an "extreme economic crisis" came as no surprise to the Coast Guard in the Bay Area.

"This is something that security planners have obviously thought of and planned for since 9/11 and frankly before 9/11," said Dan Dewell, spokesman for the 11th Coast Guard District based in Alameda.

KCBS' Anna Duckworth Reports:

Dewell said that since the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, security includes more armed boarding teams, armed vessels and stronger coordination between federal, state and local agencies.

The Department of Homeland Security said Friday documents seized from Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan show no imminent or specific threat from Al-Qaeda.

Nevertheless the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a confidential warning to police and the energy industry the same day. Dewell said the Coast Guard would make no changes in the San Francisco Bay because of the newly disclosed intelligence.

Oil tankers regularly pass through the Golden Gate because of the ConocoPhillips, Shell and Tesoro refineries in Contra Costa County. Dewell said the Coast Guard regularly educates industry about improvements to protect ships.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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