LONDON Ñ Britain has warned its nationals of an insurgency attack targeting Western interests in
"We judge that there is a high threat from terrorism against Western,
including British, targets," the British embassy in Manama said. "We are
particularly concerned about potential threats to places where Westerners
Over the last few weeks, both Britain and the United States have
received information that Al Qaida and related groups were planning attacks
throughout the Persian Gulf region. Bahrain has been rocked by
anti-government riots and insurgency attacks over the last two months linked
to members of the majority Shi'ite community.
Bahraini security officials did not confirm the British warning of the
likely prospect of an insurgency attack, Middle East Newsline reported. They said they were not aware of
plans by Western embassies or nationals to close or leave the kingdom.
"You should review your security arrangements carefully," the British
embassy said in a message to its nationals. "You should remain vigilant,
particularly in public places."
Bahrain contains 7,000 British nationals, many of them involved in the kingdom's
military and defense programs. Despite the alert, the British embassy did
not announce any closure.
In February 2003, Bahrain arrested what diplomatic sources termed an
insurgency cell linked to Al Qaida. Two of the five-member cell were
convicted and sentenced to jail. Charges against the others were dropped for
lack of evidence.
Western diplomatic sources said the British alert concerned the entire
Persian Gulf region. The sources said the greatest threats appear to be in
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
The United States has not warned of any attack in Bahrain. But Western
diplomatic sources said the level of alert in the headquarters of the U.S.
Fifth Fleet and U.S. embassy has risen over the last few weeks.