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US Closes Saudi Embassy in Terror Alert - 2003-05-20


American diplomats say more terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia may be imminent, and U.S. missions in the kingdom are being closed as a result.

A U.S. embassy spokesman in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, says the embassy, and consulates in Jeddah and Dhahran, will be closed for several days. The spokesman, Michael Macy, says the U.S. government is taking precautionary measures in response to reports that terrorist strikes may be imminent.

"The embassy continues to receive credible information that further terrorist attacks are being planned against unspecified targets in Saudi Arabia," said Mr. Macy.

The spokesman said no decision has yet been made about when the embassy and consulates may reopen.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said his country has increased security in anticipation of more attacks. He described the threat of more attacks as high.

Last week, suicide bombers targeted Westerners in Riyadh, and in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, killing more than 50 people and wounding hundreds.

On Monday, Saudi and U.S. officials reported that they had new intelligence indicating that Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network may carry out fresh attacks in the United States or against American interests overseas.