US issues terror warning to citizens in Gulf

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The Independent Online
A TERRORIST attack on American targets in the Gulf may be imminent, the US has warned.

The State Department said yesterday that it had told diplomats, servicemen and the business community that it has "credible and serious" information that an attack may be planned in the next 30 days, and that the threat relates to potential targets in Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Yemen. "All American citizens should remain alert to any suspicious activity and take precautionary steps to reduce the profile and vulnerability of any US facilities," said a State Department spokesman.

While it is not the first such warning since US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam were blown up in August, the US has given this latest warning a higher profile. It has asked US military personnel in Bahrain, the headquarters of the Fifth Fleet, to avoid gathering in public places and put them under curfew.

The US accused the Saudi exile Osama bin Laden of responsibility for the embassy bombings, which were targeted at Central Intelligence Agency facilities in Kenya and Tanzania. It responded to the bombings with missile attacks on facilities in Sudan and Afghanistan which it claimed were linked to Mr bin Laden, though it has never produced any evidence of a link to the Sudanese pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum. America has arrested several people whom it claims are linked to Mr bin Laden, and has put a $5m (pounds 3m) reward on his head.

There has also been speculation that an attack may come at a prime target on US soil, in either Washington or New York, though no evidence for this has been produced.