Britain Warns of Imminent Terror Attack in Saudi Arabia
Britain Warns of Imminent Terror Attack in Saudi
Fri October 24, 2003 04:05 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain sharply raised its warning to travelers Friday not to go to Saudi Arabia, saying terror attacks were imminent.
"We advise British nationals against all but essential travel to Saudi Arabia. We believe that terrorists may be in the final phases of planning attacks," the new Foreign Office warning said.
The previous warning had simply said that attacks against Westerners were "likely."
The warning followed an admission from Saudi Arabia that it had arrested nearly 600 people in a crackdown on militants since suspected al Qaeda suicide bombers struck Riyadh in May.
The conservative kingdom, birthplace of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has faced intense pressure to crush al Qaeda cells since the Sept. 11, 2001, hijacked-plane attacks on the United States in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.
It intensified its efforts against the network since the May 12 bombings in Riyadh which killed 35 people, including nine Americans, and analysts say it has sharply stepped up cooperation with Washington.
In the latest crackdown, Saudi Arabia said Monday it had arrested Islamic militants and seized large amounts of weapons and explosives, including bomb-belts used by suicide bombers.
Saudi Arabia has also tightened up monitoring of charities which have been accused of channeling funds to militant groups worldwide, shutting down some overseas branches of domestic charity groups.
Human rights pressure group Amnesty International accused the Saudi authorities Friday of arresting without cause 250 people at a peaceful demonstration in Riyadh on October 14.
"The Saudi Arabian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all people held solely for the non-violent expression of their conscientiously held beliefs," it said in a statement.
"The protest took place while a human rights conference organized by the Saudi Arabian Red Crescent was taking place in Riyadh. Contrary to what was announced by the Saudi Arabian authorities then, Amnesty International was not invited to attend the conference," it added.
De Bastille in Saudi Arabia begint vol te raken. De gevolgen laten zich slechts raden. Zullen de Amerikanen de olievelden in het oosten van SA in nemen, wanneer het Saudisch Huis valt?
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