Terror threat in Saudi Arabia

02 December 2003
The US embassy in Riyadh on 2 December issued a warning to its 30,000 registered citizens in the kingdom of possible terrorist attacks on compounds housing Westerners. The mission issued the warning in a statement, saying that the embassy had information that at least one compound had been under surveillance by local militants. 'Recently confirmed information indicates that the Seder Village housing compound in Riyadh has been under active surveillance by terrorist elements,' the statement said. 'Other Western compounds within the kingdom may also be targeted.' The embassy said that as a precautionary measure it was restricting employees from visiting compounds in Riyadh after dark.

On 8 November, a suicide bombing on the Muhayya compound, which housed foreign workers in Riyadh, killed at least 17 people - mostly Arabs - and injured another 122. Saudi officials have blamed the Al-Qaeda network for the attack, which followed a sustained and public crackdown on militants in the kingdom. Security at expatriate housing complexes has also been improved after suicide bombers blew themselves up and killed 35 people at three housing compounds in the capital in May (MEED 10:11:03; 14:11:03).

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