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Britain Warns Terrorist Attacks Are Imminent in Saudi Arabia

October 25, 2003|From Times Wire Services

LONDON — Britain raised its warning Friday against travel to Saudi Arabia, saying terrorist 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 Foreign Office warning said.

The previous warning had said that attacks against Westerners were "likely."

A statement posted on the department's Web site advised travelers to make sure they had confidence in their security arrangements and asked visitors to military buildings to take special care.

A U.S. counter-terrorism official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said American authorities were unaware of any recent intelligence that would lead to new alerts in Saudi Arabia.

Instead, U.S. officials have received a steady stream of information in recent months suggesting Al Qaeda operatives in the kingdom were close to mounting an attack.

The warning followed a statement from Saudi Arabia that it had arrested nearly 600 people in a crackdown on militants since suicide bombers struck Riyadh in May, killing more than 30 people, including nine attackers.

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