Pearl Harbor like? IRAN allegedly attacks Saudi Arabia disrupting world oil supply

For many of the national security teams that monitor threats on the U.S., the apparent drone strike Saturday on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil production facilities was the realization of their worst fears.
Houthi rebels battling Saudi Arabia in Yemen took responsibility for the attack and said they used drones, though U.S. officials have said Iran was behind the attack and that at least some cruise missiles may have been used.
The attack underscored fears raised by U.S. security officials and experts in terrorism about the rapid evolution of technologies that could have allowed inexpensive devices to pierce Saudi defenses in a way that a traditional air force could not: flying long distances to drop potent bombs that apparently set vast portions of the Saudi petroleum infrastructure ablaze.

“The bottom line is that we are likely to see many more of these sorts of attacks, and in particular, coordinated attacks on multiple targets are likely, possibly in tandem with a cyberattack component,” Milena Rodban, an independent risk consultant based in Washington, said in an email.

The risk is hardly new, though, for law enforcement and homeland security officials. FBI Director Christopher Wray in October warned a Senate committee that civilian drones pose a “steadily escalating threat.” The devices are likely to be used by terrorists, criminal groups or drug cartels to carry out attacks in the U.S., he said.

Dozens of incidents in recent years have hinted at the risks, from the mysterious drone flying at London’s Gatwick Airport in December that disrupted operations for days, to recent assassination attempts using the devices in Yemen and Venezuela.

But even as the threat is well documented and understood, the counter-measures necessary to prevent or repel an attack are far murkier.

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