American, British, and German embassies in Saudi Arabia closed
Saudi Arabia, Politics, 5/21/2003
The world yesterday lived the fears of a expected terror attacks where the US said that the al-Qaida organization intends to launch attacks in Saudi Arabia or in the USA, according to intelligence informationthat led to a decision to the American, German and British diplomatic withdrawal from Saudi Arabia and declaring a state of alert, as the Bush administration raised the level of terror level, blocked the area besieging the White House and the US additional nationwide security measures.
Meantime, Saudi officials announced yesterday that three persons were arrested yesterday in Jeddah suspected to belong to al-Qaida organization, but the Saudi officials did not give information about the detainees and it was not clear whether the three of them are accused in the explosions that took place in Riyadh on May. Thereby the number of detainees since the explosions took place increased to 7 after the Saudi authorities announced arresting four persons accused of taking part in the attacks. A Saudi sources said that one of the three detainees "is cooperating with us."
A Saudi official yesterday expressed conviction that there are extremist Islamists who are ready to execute suicide attacks, stressing that the authorities suspect 50 persons, many of them were killed in the Riyadh explosions, belong to three cells, one of them carried out an operation in Riyadh. The official said that the second cell fled from Saudi Arabia while the third one is still inside the Kingdom.
Meantime, each of the US, the UK and Germany announced the closure of their embassies and consulates in Saudi Arabia as from today until Sunday, on the ground of information stressing the possibility of attacks targeting unidentified western targets in Saudi Arabia, according to the FBI.
On the other hand, the Saudi Minister of the Interior Prince Nayef denied news published by an American papers talking about suspecting Saudi National Guards of selling weapons to al-Qaida organization. The Washington Post said quoting Saudi and American officials that the weapons were confiscated on May 6 in Riyadh in a house that belongs to a cell linked to al-Qaida, noting that these weapons were traced to the Saudi National Guard is the source of the weapons.
Prince Nayef stressed that this information falls in the course of a campaign against the kingdom. He added "even the found weapons are not similar to the weapons of the national guards." Prince Mutib Bin Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, the son of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz denied the information published by the American daily. He told the Saudi daily al-Watan that the weapons used by the "terrorists are made in Russia (of type Klashinkov) and are not used by the Saudi National Guards and the explosives found with the terrorists are Czech- made.
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