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Saudi Arabia Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Dec 17, 2003

This Travel Warning is being issued to alert Americans to the fact that, due to security concerns, the Department of State has authorized the departure of family members and non-emergency employees of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates on a voluntary basis. Private American citizens should evaluate their own security situations and should consider departing the country. This Travel Warning supersedes that of December 8, 2003.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer travel to Saudi Arabia. Americans are reminded of the potential for further terrorist actions against U.S. citizens abroad, including in the Persian Gulf region. U.S. citizens who travel to, or remain in, Saudi Arabia despite this Travel Warning should register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh or at the Consulates in Jeddah and Dhahran, and enroll in the warden system (emergency alert network) to obtain updated information on travel and security in Saudi Arabia.

Due to ongoing security concerns, on December 17, 2003, the Department of State authorized the departure, on a voluntary basis, of family members and non-emergency personnel of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Saudi Arabia. U.S. consular personnel remain available to provide emergency services to American citizens.

The U.S. Government continues to receive indications of terrorist threats aimed at American and Western interests, including the targeting of transportation and civil aviation. American citizens in Saudi Arabia should remain vigilant, particularly in public places associated with the Western community.

Terrorists have attacked residential housing compounds in the Riyadh area in 2003. Credible information indicates that terrorists continue to target residential compounds in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the Riyadh area, but also compounds throughout the country.

>From time to time, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Saudi Arabia may restrict the travel of official Americans or suspend public services for security reasons. In those instances, the Embassy and Consulates will keep the local American citizen community apprised through the Warden System and make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. The U.S. Mission in Saudi Arabia continues to restrict the travel of its American employees and their dependents to residential compounds in the Riyadh area to between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Restrictions on travel to other destinations have been lifted in conjunction with the Department's approval of voluntary departure status. Warden messages can be found on the US Embassy Riyadh website: http://usembassy.state.gov/riyadh/

As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. U.S. travelers can also get up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 in the U.S. or Canada or on a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328.

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Saudi Arabia, the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, and Middle East and North Africa Public Announcement at http://travel.state.gov.

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