U.S. warns westerners planning travel to Saudi Arabia of terror threat

Special to WorldTribune.com

Citing ongoing “security threats” from Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) and Al Qaida, the United States has issued a new warning on travel to Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. State Department issued the warning ahead of President Barack Obama’s planned visit to the kingdom on April 21.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

“U.S. citizens in Saudi Arabia are strongly encouraged to select hotels or housing compounds with careful attention to security measures and location. U.S. citizens should be aware of their surroundings at all times and are advised to keep a low profile; vary times and routes of travel; exercise caution while driving, and entering or exiting vehicles; and ensure that travel documents and visas are current and valid.”

The State Department said possible targets include housing compounds, hotels, restaurants, shopping areas, international schools, “and other facilities where westerners congregate.”

“There have been multiple attacks on mosques which were directed or inspired by ISIL in the past year,” the State Department said in an online post on April 11. “Security threats continue and terrorist groups, some affiliated with ISIL or Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), have targeted both Saudi and Western interests.”

The travel warning also mentioned the threat of violence spilling over from neighboring Yemen, while Iraq is also considered an “ongoing” security concern.

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