Saudi Arabia Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Dec 07, 2004
This Travel Warning is being updated to inform U.S. citizens of an armed attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah December 6, resulting in casualties among the non-American staff and damage to consulate facilities. Due to such targeted attacks against American facilities and citizens, resulting in deaths, injuries and kidnappings, and the continuing serious threat to their safety while in Saudi Arabia, the Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens to defer travel to Saudi Arabia. Our Mission in Saudi Arabia remains an unaccompanied post as a result of continued security concerns. Non-emergency employees and all dependents of the U.S. Embassy Riyadh and Consulates General Jeddah and Dhahran were ordered to leave the country on April 15, 2004 and will not be permitted to return until further notice. Private Americans currently in Saudi Arabia are strongly urged to depart. This Travel Warning supersedes that of October 27, 2004.
U.S. citizens 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. Warden messages can be found on the U.S. Embassy Riyadh website: http://usembassy.state.gov/riyadh/.
Although counter-terrorism efforts have succeeded in diminishing terrorist capabilities in Saudi Arabia, terrorist groups continue to target housing compounds, hotels, methods of transportation, and commercial establishments where Westerners can be found. Saudi Government facilities are also targets. In addition to car bombs and armed assaults involving multiple gunmen against such facilities, terrorists have also used ambush attacks to kidnap and/or assassinate individual Westerners.
American citizens who choose to visit or remain in Saudi Arabia are strongly urged to avoid staying in hotels or housing compounds that do not apply stringent security measures including, but not limited to, the presence of an armed guard force, inspection of all vehicles, and a hardened security perimeter to prevent unauthorized vehicles from approaching the facility. American citizens are further advised to exercise caution when visiting commercial establishments frequented by Westerners. American citizens are also advised to exercise caution while driving, entering or exiting vehicles.
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.
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.