London came in for particular criticism for failing to consult the Saudi authorities before issuing a warning against non-essential travel on 24 October. ‘The kingdom wishes that when such advice is given by sources outside the kingdom that there would be co-ordination between the people giving the advice and the authorities in the kingdom,’ said Saudi ambassador to the UK Prince Turki al-Faisal. He said that the Saudi authorities had taken firm measures against terrorist activity since the 12 May suicide bombings in Riyadh. The very public campaign against homegrown militants has seen Interior Minister Prince Nayef periodically announcing arrests and weapons seizures.
The warning from London was followed on 28 October by a similar message from Washington. ‘The US government continues to receive indications of terrorist threats aimed at American and Western interests, including the targeting of transportation and civil aviation,’ said a statement from the US embassy in Riyadh. ‘The Department of State warns US citizens to defer non-essential travel to Saudi Arabia.’
Australia also advised its nationals to avoid the kingdom.