The 2008 list of "critical foreign dependencies" runs the gamut from hydroelectric dams in Canada to vaccine producers in Denmark, The New York Times reported Monday. The sites, which also includes communication centers, chemical plants, mines, military facilities, pipelines, water supplies, national monuments and icons, and nuclear power plants, would likely be known to terrorist groups anyway, the U.S. newspaper said.
Still, releasing the list, British Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC, is "particularly reprehensible."
"There is great concern, of course, about disclosing a list of targets that could be of use to terrorists or saboteurs," he said.
Mark Stephens, a lawyer for WikiLeaks, denied that the Web site placed people and facilities in danger. "I don't think there's anything new in that," he told the BBC.
The Jerusalem Post said the cable listed sites "whose loss could critically impact the public health, economic security, and/or national and homeland security of the United States." It was part of a national infrastructure protection plan created by the U.S. Homeland Security Department.
The Post said none of the potential targets are under U.S. control or management. It said the cable directly ordered personnel not to seek host countries' assistance in identifying potential targets.
The Web whistle-blower has released about 250,000 diplomatic cables, drawing widespread criticism that they put people and nations at risk.