People, Travel

US Embassy Issues Saudi Arabia Advisory

US Embassy Issues Saudi Arabia AdvisoryUS Embassy Issues Saudi Arabia Advisory

The US Embassy in Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it had received reports of a “potential, imminent threat” against US citizens in areas of the city of Jeddah frequented by westerners.

“All US citizens are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings and take extra precautions when travelling throughout the country,” a statement on the embassy’s website said, without providing further details.

“It’s a security message, not a travel warning, that our consulate put out in Jeddah. Obviously, our consulate felt that the information they had was credible enough, serious enough to warrant sending that message out immediately,” State Department spokesman, John Kirby, told a briefing, Reuters reported.

“There is a potential specific threat to Americans traveling to Jeddah, and in particular, public venues in Jeddah,” Kirby said. “So it’s very specific to the location and it makes it clear that this is a potential threat to Americans there.”

On July 4, a suicide bomber was killed and two people were wounded in a blast near the US Consulate in Jeddah. It was the first bombing in years to attempt to target foreigners in the kingdom.

The same day, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb near the Prophet’s (PBUH) Mosque in Medina, Islam’s second-holiest site, killing four security officers.

A third attack took place in the eastern city of Qatif, home to the country’s Shia Muslim minority.