‘Following terrorist attacks in Riyadh in May and November 2003, we believe that terrorists remain determined to carry out further attacks in Saudi Arabia and that these may be in the final stages of preparation,’ the Foreign Office said on its website. ‘We advise British nationals against all but essential travel to Saudi Arabia.’

The warning follows the cancellation of a 16 February flight from London Heathrow to Riyadh by British Airways (MEED 12:2:04). The carrier said they had made the decision to ground flight BA263 ‘on the advice of the British government’.

Eighteen people were killed in a suicide attack on a Riyadh expatriate housing compound in November 2003, while bomb attacks on three Riyadh housing complexes in May 2003 left 34 dead (MEED 14:11:03; 16:5:03).