21 June, 2008

Terror Alert linked to... actual Terrorism?

An excerpt from last week's US State Department's worldwide warning to American citizens abroad (sorry for the length -- having said that -- we are a rather long-winded people):
The Middle East and North Africa

Credible information indicates terrorist groups seek to continue attacks against U.S. interests in the Middle East and North Africa. Terrorist actions may include bombings, hijackings, hostage taking, kidnappings, and assassinations. While conventional weapons such as explosive devices are a more immediate threat in many areas, use of non-conventional weapons, including chemical or biological agents, must be considered a possible threat. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. Increased security at official U.S. facilities has led terrorists and their sympathizers to seek softer targets such as public transportation, residential areas, and public areas where people congregate, including restaurants, hotels, clubs, and shopping areas.

On December 11, 2007, two vehicle-borne explosive devices were detonated at the UN headquarters in Algiers and the Algerian Constitutional Council. Three other suicide bomb attacks in July and September of 2007 in Algeria killed more than 80 people. In July 2007, suspected al-Qaida operatives carried out a vehicle-borne explosive device attack on tourists at the Bilquis Temple in Yemen, which resulted in the deaths of eight Spanish tourists and their two Yemeni drivers. There was a series of bombings in Morocco in March and April 2007, two of which occurred simultaneously outside the U.S. Consulate General and the private American Language Center in Casablanca. Additionally, an attack took place on the American International School in Gaza in April 2007. These events underscore the intent of terrorist entities to target facilities perceived to cater to Westerners. The September 2006 attack on the U.S. embassy in Syria and the March 2006 bombing near the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan illustrate the continuing desire of extremists to strike American targets.

Potential targets are not limited to those companies or establishments with overt U.S. ties. For instance, terrorists may target movie theaters, liquor stores, bars, casinos, or any similar type of establishment, regardless of whether they are owned and operated by host country nationals. Due to varying degrees of security at all such locations, Americans should be particularly vigilant when visiting these establishments.

The violence in Iraq, clashes between Palestinians and Israelis, clashes between terrorist extremists and the Lebanese Armed Forces, and the violence in Pakistan following the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007 have the potential to produce demonstrations and unrest throughout the region. Americans are reminded that demonstrations and rioting can occur with little or no warning. In addition, the Department of State continues to warn of the possibility for violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests in the region. Anti-American violence could include possible terrorist actions against aviation, ground transportation, and maritime interests, specifically in the Middle East, including the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula, and North Africa.

The Department is concerned that extremists may be planning to carry out attacks against Westerners and oil workers on the Arabian Peninsula. Armed attacks targeting foreign nationals in Saudi Arabia that resulted in many deaths and injuries, including U.S. citizens, appear to have been preceded by extensive surveillance. Tourist destinations in Egypt that are frequented by Westerners were attacked in April 2006 resulting in many deaths and injuries, including Americans. Extremists may be surveilling Westerners, particularly at hotels, housing areas, and rental car facilities. Potential targets may include U.S. contractors, particularly those related to military interests. Financial or economic venues of value also could be considered as possible targets; the failed attack on the Abqaiq oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia in late February 2006 and the September 2006 attack on oil facilities in Yemen are examples.
Strangely, it doesn't reference any of our friends in the British SIS downing pints at some pub in Abu Dhabi. Must be another US intelligence failure...


Anonymous said...

Would you care to provide a link?

Anonymous said...


Belle said...

Makes no sense what so ever.
These are long standing issues and nothing new is happening.
i would hate to see our level of security going up for the sake of the Americans living here, just like it is in Bahrain and kuwait where all cars and human are checked thoroughly at hotel entrances...every place feels like a war camp.

Again it doesn't make sense..Americans are in danger any where any time, they will always be a potential target, thats old ews why the concern right now..why by Brits...

I really hope this is just a false alarm...

I pray that the UAE and all the Arab coutris remain safe from any terror acivities and terrorists (in any shape or form)..

dxbaingirl said...

Nothing new.

The UAE is safe an will always be safe by Allah's protection!!!

Those type of Propaganda and conspicuous news really brings attention to the wrong people.

Kyle said...

There never was and there never will be, terrorism – that is, in the Gulf PERIOD

There you go – I said it, just like that!

Now everybody go back to being a barfly and gulp your pints. Worry about that catchy phrase ‘you told us so’ when the saints come marching in!

samuraisam said...


In the future, please provide links to items you quote on here.

the real nick said...

you don't say. Violence in the Middle East?!

i, Bobo said...

"In the future, please provide links to items you quote on here."

Thanks for the link -- I received it as an email from the Embassy last week and hadn't seen the online version.

So I'm getting the impression from your comments that the consensus opinion is that this is all bullshit, that there's no threat to the area at all.

This is confusing because the British and American governments are warning us to be careful, made even more confusing by media reports. For instance, the June 16th issue of US NEWS & WORLD REPORTS contained an article about the UAE which had this rather alarming paragraph tucked into it:

Dubai has so far managed to avoid the terrorism that plagues many of its neighbors. Troublesome workers can be deported quickly, with no judicial process. Security is relatively tight, but, for the most part, it is invisible. Yet Dubai's laborers could be vulnerable to radicalization, and there is also the risk of homegrown extremism. "Terrorism is the big elephant in the room that no one wants to discuss," says Christopher Davidson, a professor at Britain's Durham University and author of the forthcoming book Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success. Davidson notes that two of the 9/11 hijackers were from the UAE. "If there was a terror strike in Dubai or war in Iran, which is only 55 miles away, are investments going to be sustained?

You can read the whole article HERE.

So what is it? Is it just the Western press trying to demonize the Arab world? Or is there a legitimate threat from extremists to the UAE?

nzm said...

Maybe it's something to do with this

Kyle said...

Or is there a legitimate threat from extremists to the UAE?


Definitely, there is a legitimate threat(s). As of this moment, I can speculate it being a two-fold. First, the (sleeper) and exterior extremist rightwing cells on one side. On the other side, there are those high-flying not-so-legit-shady investors that are waiting to cash in on their returns they have been promised from this hokey gold mine.

Which one of these blinks first, is the million-dollar question that will be answered the day there is a total blackout.

What is unfortunate though, is that the common and innocent will end up in the line of fire while those that instigated the madness would be miles away, way away from the sniper’s crosshair!


I quote from Peter Cooper’s Weblog:

‘At the same time, high oil prices mean that consumer nations are effectively being taxed by the oil producers and that money is coming back to the GCC in buckets. The estimated current account surplus of the GCC nations this year will be a record $500 billion. This is a very substantial amount of money that the financial sector will have to recycle back into the local and global economy.’

That’s a very generalized statement by Mr. Cooper. Although I doubt it holds true for Dubai, as they’re not entirely dependant on oil. So, instead of buckets, it’s more like droplets for Dubai, negligible, compared to those not-so-legit investors I’ve mentioned above.

rosh said...

I do not believe everybody is in complete denial. Just that, we don't wish to be on the other end of the spectrum - like here in America, where terror alerts were flashed in your face 24/7. Where news has become sensationalized shenanigans with graphics, Hollywood music with *imminent* threats an' all, which had people go all out for duck tape! (pretty much like some of that verbiage from your source, i bobo).

Anonymous said...

A gem of a letter found in Gulf News today.......

"Ulterior motive?

This terror threat warning from the UK is just part of the plan to hit the UAE’s rapid growth. Just a few days’ ago, I was reading in Gulf News that think-tanks in the UK are worried about the pace of growth in the financial sector of the UAE, which is by all means hitting UK’s growth plans. Such statements will hit share prices in the UAE and the UK would achieve its goal.
From Mr Mohammad Ali

BuJassem said...

Man, it's never been more dangerous to be... oh... wait for it... an american!

Mind you, comrades tell me it's pretty darn scary flying (legally) into the USA.. they scare the flying shit out of you in the airport... and they all have guns there.. where in uae the passport guys have kandooras.

Heathrow is the best. you get treated in terminal 3 by indians who have lived around there for generations. i just love it :)

rosh said...

...sorry, meant *duct* tape :)

Kyle said...

and they all have guns there.. where in uae the passport guys have kandooras.


That’s a good one; guns versus kandooras!

I mean that, as a compliment. That apart, it’s very catchy ;)

I just hope the guys here never get to carry one in an isolated airport or for that matter, ghost town, post trauma.

All because someone prejudged themselves from being immune to injury!

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