Skip to comments.US halts operations at Sudan embassy due to 'specific' threat
Posted on 11/10/2003 10:22:23 AM PST by knighthawk
The US embassy in Khartoum has announced it will suspend operations for a week from November 12 due to a "specific" threat against American interests in the Sudanese capital.
"The US embassy will suspend normal operations as of November 12," the embassy said in a statement, noting it would also be closed on November 11 for the Veterans' Day holiday in the United States.
"This action is the result of a credible and specific threat to US interests in Khartoum."
BTW, this does not mean I doubt this threat or think it is premature to close the embassy there. Given the particularly prescient warning of the operations in Saudi Arabia last week we have to take these seriously.
|U.S. Embassy in Sudan Suspends Operations|
|Monday, November 10, 2003
The United States Embassy in Khartoum will suspend normal operations beginning Wednesday as the result of terror threats to American interests in Sudan, the embassy said Monday.
A warden message was distributed to Americans living in Sudan, which does not have full diplomatic relations with the United States.
The embassy urged all Americans there to maintain a low profile, and to avoid large gatherings of foreigners, which may attract attention.
In the statement, the embassy said it was already closing Tuesday for the Veterans Day (search) holiday, and its operations would remain suspended for the rest of the week.
The embassy hopes to resume normal operations next week.
U.S. citizens who remain in or travel to Sudan despite the warning were encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Sudan.
The warning follows Saturday's car bombing attack in Riyadh (search), Saudi Arabia, that killed 17 people at a compound housing mostly Arab foreigners.
The U.S. Embassy there had closed its offices earlier that day to review security procedures after receiving credible information about planned terror attacks.
Restrictions on staff and families were slightly eased Monday, but security was tight elsewhere in Saudi Arabia, amid fears of more attacks. Officials have said the bombing bore similarities to previous Al Qaeda-suspected operations.
After a review of the threat level, U.S. Embassy staff and their families were told they could travel outside Riyadh's heavily guarded diplomatic quarter, to which they had been restricted since the attack, an embassy spokeswoman said.
The embassy is shut indefinitely. The State Department has made no decision to evacuate diplomats or dependents.
Saudi authorities, who have clashed recently with suspected Al Qaeda militants, said earlier this month they were increasing security in the holy city of Mecca. Security officials were particularly concerned about the last 10 days of the fasting month of Ramadan, when some 2 million Muslims are expected to perform the "omra," or minor pilgrimage, to Mecca. Ramadan ends around Nov. 24.
After a Nov. 3 shootout in Mecca that left two suspects dead, Saudi authorities confiscated a large cache of weapons in the city, birthplace of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, leading to fears a strike was planned in Mecca.
"Our president, after the events of Sept. 11, said he was preparing our nation for a long war, and the more we looked at the phenomenon of Al Qaeda, the more we became convinced there is going to be a long struggle," Armitage said.
In Riyadh, Armitage pledged Americans "will be fully participating partners, if that is the desire of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia" in its anti-terror fight.
Armitage, echoing initial Saudi assessments, said he was "personally quite sure" Al Qaeda was behind the car bombing.
Such attacks appear to be directed "against the government of Saudi Arabia and the people of Saudi Arabia," Armitage said, adding that he expected more.
The Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Turki al-Faisal, cited similarities between Saturday's bombings and previous Al Qaeda strikes. Saudi officials blame Al Qaeda for a series of car bombings May 12 on three Riyadh compounds housing foreigners. Those attacks killed 35 people, including nine homicide bombers.
Fox News' Teri Schultz and The Associated Press contributed to this report
LThe real story here is we must really have some great intel..
Good point. Hubby and I were discussing that this weekend. They're all the same, basically. No matter what they call themselves they all share the same agenda. To see us dead.
Who is the question...?
They did save lives.
Just MHO, but it seams to me the fact that these attacks are occurring within Islamic countries, is a clear indication of desparation. It's generally not a good idea to blow up your own back yard.
Unless we're seeing a shift of strategy to overthrow the Kingdom now and establish a new base.
Even still, that says that they have given up trying to destroy us, and are just trying to eliminate our influence in their back yard. I would still consider that desperation.
They're not worried about that laser-controlled robot-comb that castrates men, again, are they?
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