The United States has warned of new terrorist attacks in Bahrain and Oman.
The State Department has urged U.S. nationals in the two Gulf
states to be on their guard and increase security
U.S. Central Command maintains facilities in both Bahrain and Oman. The
U.S. Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain while the U.S. Air Force maintains
facilities in Oman.
Officials said the U.S. intelligence community has assessed that Al
Qaida could strike other Gulf
Cooperation Council states in wake of suicide strikes in Saudi
Arabia and Morocco. They said Al Qaida appears intent in sustaining its
offensive against the United States in the Middle East.
The department did not cite any specific development that
prompted the alerts, Middle East Newsline reported.
"While we have no specific information that would lead us to believe
that an attack is likely to occur in Bahrain, the embassy encourages
American citizens to remain vigilant," the U.S. embassy in Manama said on
Sunday. "All American citizens in Bahrain are urged to review their personal
security practices, discuss personal security plans and practices with their
families, and remain alert to changing situations."
A similar warning was issued by the U.S. embassy in Muscat. The embassy
said the State Department urged Americans to be aware that Al Qaida and its
allies could strike what was termed "soft targets" in the sultanate. The
reference was to lightly-guarded civilian facilities such as shopping malls,
schools or places of entertainment.
"In light of recent terrorist incidents in the region, the Department of
State has requested that we inform American citizens resident in Oman to be
especially cautious and vigilant during this period of heightened concern,"
the U.S. embassy in Muscat said.
On Wednesday, GCC leaders are scheduled to convene in a summit in Riyad.
Gulf sources said the summit will focus on the need for security cooperation
and coordination amid Al Qaida's offensive in the region.