The latest deal of DP World,
(A UAE based maritime company) was a $6.85-billion acquisition of a British firm.
The announcement of DP World’s bid for the London-based P & O (Peninsular
and Oriental Steam Navigation Company), the world's fourth largest port
operator, was made in November 2005, and the news was widely reported in
the press and international financial trade publications.
Dubai Ports World, at the center of a furious controversy over port
security announced later that it will
sell off its U.S. operations to an American owner.
The decision by Dubai Ports World to abandon its effort to take over
terminal operations from all U.S. seaports was a victory for the numerous
politicians who have thundered in recent days that foreign companies have
no business handling U.S. port operations.
The greatest security concern is the estimated 9 million cargo (9.6
million in 2004) containers
come through 361 American ports annually, an average of 26,000 a day. only a small percentage
are physically searched or screened. In many ports from which U.S. bound
cargo originates, there is little security oversight, which makes it
possible to fill a container with people or weapons intended to harm the
Public opinion appears to be strongly against allowing an Arab company to
manage some port terminals in the United States, Democrats are hammering
Republicans on the issue, and the White House has been unable to provide
much political cover to its allies on Capitol Hill. The House committee’s
vote (a vote of 62-2) was a reaction to what members said was broad
opposition to the deal by constituents.
Critics have argued that the deal raises concerns because DP World, a UAE
maritime company is owned by the United Arab Emirates, a nation that has
had questionable ties to terrorists in the past.
Bush's former counter-terrorism chief Wayne Downing was quoted on MSNBC in
September 2003 as noting how Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktum, the UAE
defense minister and crown prince of Dubai, was among a number of wealthy
and influential Gulf Arabs who visited Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan for
horseback riding and hunting parties.
UAE was one of the few countries in the world that recognized the al-Qaida-friendly
Taliban government in Afghanistan; al-Qaida funneled millions of dollars
through the U.A.E financial sector; and Abdul Qadar Khan, a
Pakistani nuclear technology smuggler, used warehouses near the Dubai port
as a key transit point for many of his shipments.
According to the 9/11
Commission report that two of the al Qaeda hijackers
involved in the September 11, 2001 attack, were from the UAE, and money to fund
the plot was passed through banks in UAE, a money-laundering haven in the