16 June, 2008

UK Warns of "high threat from terrorism" in the UAE

So says the BBC this morning:
British nationals in the United Arab Emirates have been warned there is now a high risk of a terror attack there.

Travel advice from the UK Foreign Office said terrorists might be planning indiscriminate attacks in places frequented by expatriates...

"High" is the most serious of four terrorism risk levels which the Foreign Office uses in its warnings...

One of the great selling points of the Emirates is the high level of personal safety (well, except on the road), especially when compared to so many expats' home countries. I know that I always felt much safer walking around Al Ain, even at night, than I do now that I'm back in the US.

Here's hoping and praying that either the report is wrong or that the authorities are able to stop any plots that do exist. Stay safe everyone.


BuJassem said...

I read that on BBC today.. it's complete rubbish.. I'd be worried if (God forbid) something happened, but this is really unfair from the UK. Very unfair.

This is doubly bad given the close relationship between us and the UK.. as well as the current economic climate.

Lirun said...

on the personal safety note - however - my friends in london are constantly concerned about local fights in the street and violence on their way home from work/pubs..

but its amazing how much an article about it carries even if the chance of the attack happening is only slight - as soon as it is labelled terror..

Keefieboy said...

Buj - how do you know it's rubbish?

Brn said...


Why exactly do you say that it is "complete rubbish"? You very well may be right - I don't think that anyone needs reminding of how often Western intelligence agencies have been wrong in the past. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day. How exactly do you that this particular warning is rubbish?

Brn said...

(sorry keffie, you beat me to it)

Anonymous said...

And why are the British to know about this ? whoever wants to plant a bomb would send notice before blowing up everything ?

I can't believe how many dumb idiots exist on this planet.

Another 9/11 BS.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

"areas frequented by expatriates..."

Well, last time I checked, this description can fit anywhere, just anywhere in Dubai.

I agree with my friend Bu Jassem, it's more likely to be some sort of red-herring.

Let's just pray they are wrong.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Intelligence agencies have their own ways of harvesting info. They call them assets. Few ears up in the grapevines if you like. They may not even identify the source but his info would hold value due to past experiences.

Read any of Tom Clancy's spy novels and you'd know what I am talking about.

Kyle said...

From the Telegraph article:

The UAE, which is made up of seven states, strongly condemned the September 11 terrorist attacks.

With all due respect, this maybe true (as I wasn’t here to judge for myself). Unfortunately, it also allowed its local media to publish an open letter filled with criticism last January during President Bush’s visit to the Emirates.

As for this threat assessment released by the UK Foreign Office, one way to counter risk is to follow their directives and lay low for a while. That apart and in this particular instance, it’s also the UAE law enforcement authorities’ job to safeguard one and all without any exceptions.

Personally, I hope and wish this threat goes away if not for anything but for the innocents that may end up in harm’s way.

Keefieboy said...

Kyle: Unfortunately, it also allowed its local media to publish an open letter filled with criticism last January during President Bush’s visit to the Emirates

Your point is?

Brn said...


In general it is a bad idea, while demonstrating an amazing level of ignorance, to call other people stupid. As Dubai Jazz pointed out, all intelligence agencies monitor, as much as they can, what they think terrorist groups are up to.

And if Western governments learned nothing else from 9/11 (and I think that you could easily make the argument that this is all some have learned) it is that if you have any evidence of an upcoming terrorist operation, no matter how thin, you better put it out there or get accused of incompetence, apathy, or even complicity when such an event occurs.

Brn said...

dubai jazz,

If this is a "red herring", then what exactly would the UK government be trying to distract their citizens in the UAE from with this warning?

Kyle said...


Look, I don’t know what you found offensive in (my quoted sentence) by responding with a 3-syllable response. Besides, I didn’t know I was supposed to make a point. That was my observation to the last paragraph of the Telegraph article, which made a reference to 9/11 and the United States.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

It was just announced today that the UK is beefing up its troops in Afghanistan by 8000 more soldiers. There might be a correlation. A little trick to remind the MPs that there are still terror threats overseas. I dont know, we are all speculating here.

But you are right in the sense that this have marginal effect on the public opinion inside the UK.

rosh said...

Yeah Kyle, whats your point - Bush Sr is TLC'd in America and elsewhere?

Re: BBC report. I think it's best to be realistic and be prepared. Reality is that no place shall be water proof from terrorism. With economic success and freedoms, comes medieval fanatics and ideologies to curb & backtrack.

In addition to taking all precautions, the best we can (and should) do is to be prepared to face the challenges.

hadji said...

maybe it is the TRAs way of easing off congestion on the roads of Dubai...

Seriously though, the Dubai summer surprises is coming up. Lots of people from otjer countries. Lots of targets.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Rosh, this is exactly where I disagree with you. But let me ask you first, what do you mean by being 'prepared'? I spend my lunch-break in the Emirates Mall everyday; should I just drop the place because it's "highly frequented by expatriates"? (note that the same wording was used in the warning issued by the Aussie Embassy three..four years ago)

No Sir. I won't change my lifestyle. As we say in Arabic "no one will dislocate the neck except the one who had put it there from the first place"

rosh said...

DJ, being prepared meaning, not to let chaos/helplessness/despair, completely take over. I hate to post this.

Don't know why am saying so, perhaps it's because we had/have to deal with it here in NYC. It's quite a reality.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

An official Canadian travel website is deeming the reports "credible":

There have been credible reports that terrorists may be planning attacks in the UAE, possibly against Westerners and/or Western interests.

Anonymous said...

Yes lets all pretend there's no problems. Let's try a few questions. Where did two of the 9/11 hijackers come from. What role did Al Fardan Exchange in Dubai play in 9/11? How did two Americans come to be shot outside the Hard Rock Cafe Dubai just after 9/11?
We were here before and after 9/11 and you could sense the hate in the air after it.
What absolute nonsense to tie a letter criticising GB to this warning.
Having lived through several IRA bombing campaigns in the UK you have to be pragmatic, and life does go on. However the complete lack of security and the construction of many of the buildings here (large amounts of plate glass and no blast panels) do concern me.

Same script different cast aka Cheeky Minx said...

Admin! How come this post did not show up when I checked here a few hours ago? And it's been here since this afternoon! It's already 21 comments long now that I see it duh! There's nothing left to say :(

Foul play! Foul play!

same script different cast aka Cheeky Minx said...

Really? They shot two Yankees outside Hard Rock Cafe?

Jeez, i could have got caught in the fire, I live nearby!

Oh, but I forgot. I was not around then.

same script diferent cast aka Cheeky Minx said...

Phew! I DID find something to say after all!

I'm so proud of my resourcefulness!

Lirun said...

dubai jazz - u could always try fridge magnets.. did wonders for australia..


Keefieboy said...

Kyle: what I meant was: why is it interesting or even relevant that the UAE government allowed criticism of Bush and his cronies?

Keefieboy said...

Buj: 'innocent until proven guilty'. Yes, of course. But nobody has committed a crime yet, and nobody is being accused of anything. This is just an advisory that something might happen, that's all.

BuJassem said...

Keefie.. I understand that and i also understand the mentality of super caution which is endemic in Britain. This is ok. However, after you call wolf a few time people stop listening to you.

Like I said, let's see some facts.

Also to the guy that said 2 americans were shot in dubai after 9/11... hmmm scaremongering.. howcome there was a blackout for 7 yrs?

Keefieboy said...

Buj: there was an incident shortly after 9/11 where some crazy guy took pot-shots at the Hard Rock, but as far as I know, nobody was injured.

Kyle said...


It isn’t fair the way you and others are jumping the gun on expat posters. It inclines me to think that you believe all expats wish ill to the UAE. This isn’t about expats rejoicing if and when this thing comes to pass. This also isn’t about expats being envious to the UAE’s spiraling growth and its supposedly impending slowdown or halt in light of this threat assessment by the British Authorities.

If anything, this report is about taking precautionary measures that would prevent innocent loss of life; be they Emiratis or Expats.

To sum it all up, Brn puts it best with this line ‘if you have any evidence of an upcoming terrorist operation, no matter how thin, you better put it out there or get accused of incompetence, apathy, or even complicity when such an event occurs.’

Here’s hoping this threat never comes to pass.

Kyle said...

why is it interesting or even relevant that the UAE government allowed criticism of Bush and his cronies?


Let me put it this way, the relevance to me stems from the fact that I am a patriotic American, the way you are English or Buj being an Emirati.

BuJassem said...

Perhaps I get too emotional when I read these topics, so I do apologise for the overdose of attitude and emotion in my posts. I will, for the benefit of those who cannot sift fact from opinion repeat myself:

1-Terrorism is bad, expats are good.
2- Warnings are good if backed by evidence.
3-Scaremongering is bad.

Have a nice day, everyone.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BuJassem said...

PS: Two people asked me why I said "complete rubbish" but no one has asked for evidence of the high threat level.

PPS: A crack-pot might have shot at expats post 911 in Dubai, however many Muslims were actually murdered in the USA post 911. Most of my Emirati classmates studying in the USA were asked to come back home and thus wasted a year out of their education because of this threat to their lives. The evidence for bring them back is that, at the time, America was not a safe place for a young Emirati male to study.

Have a nice day guys. I pray for peace, and above all understanding.

Anonymised said...

I didn't get the 'piss drinker' comment duh!

Again, please?

same script different cast aka Cheeky Minx said...

PS: Two people asked me why I said "complete rubbish" but no one has asked for evidence of the high threat level.

Goes to show Buj, people are interested in a bit of drama and thrill. They are not likely to rock the boat (read: kill the story) by asking for evidence! ;)

Amen to your prayer. Or Ameen rather :)

Anonymous said...

lets stick to the topic here guys, the uk government issued a warning based on their intelligence reports. geopolitics, isreal and iran aside.

what would UK gain from declaring that our country will have an imminent threat?

Also, what if the warning are -god forbid- indeed true... what is the UAE governments response? is there atleast inverstigations?

*keep us posted guys* !

same script different cast aka Cheeky minx said...

Ah Anonymous, surely a bit of digression adds spice to cyber life! ;)

But if you're going to be unrelenting about it, do it with style! :p

It's "what if the warning is", not "what if the warning are". Brush up on the grammar now, will ya!

Do the spelling too while you're at it. It's "UAE Government's", not 'UAE governments". And it "let's", not "lets"

As to 'is there at least inverstigations'. I believe it should go 'are there at least investigations' or 'is there at least an investigation'. But hmmm, I may be wrong on that one. Me off to brush on my verbs, c ya!

Anonymised said...


That was only to be expected eh?

Stay home folks!

Anonymised said...

oh bugger, the link ain't complete.

'Nyways, it's saying the Yanks followed suit.

BuJassem said...

Minx, I'm glad it's not only me who has a strong urge to correct people's grammar and repetitive incorrect use of things like "its" and "it's"....

Anonymous said...

what a bunch of OCDs...

rosh said...

"Let me put it this way, the relevance to me stems from the fact that I am a patriotic American...."

Oh great, here comes the Patriot. Oh, yeah, if you didn't support GWB/Cheney buncha crap on march to Iraq war - you ain't a Patriotic American. If you voice dissent - nope not patriotic am afraid. Hell! doesn't matter thousands of innocent American and Iraqi lives were lost based on a LIE - don't get upset with my president, lest you hurt patriotism.

Gives me an ulcer reading short sighted rhetoric!

Mr DtP said...

Have any other governments backed up the British warning and issued their own, or is The Word of the UK government still considered worthy enough?

Kyle said...


If you’re trying to provoke me and start a blog fight based on what I said by quoting the Telegraph article and further expanded on it, then by all means go ahead and do it. Just don’t expect me to join you in a gangbang.

Although, I must say after having read your comments all over the blogsphere, as well as your blog, that you were more so of a Pacifist mentality? Maybe I was wrong about you!

Just for the record, whatever’s expected to happen here will affect not just you, your friends and your family but mine too. So, read my comments above in reference to this label before you pass your judgment on me.

Have a great East Coast morning!

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Rosh, I thought you were in favor of the war on Iraq? :)

rosh said...

Kyle: sorry mate, it was you who initiated provocation based on your initial comment and in my opinion, tarted it up with that done to death and beyond "Patriotic American" phrase.

Point is: patriotism does not mean you should be blind. If a President and Vice President manipulated data, lied to people that took lives of innocent thousands based on such lies, you stand up and let them know what you feel & know. In my view, there is nothing wrong or "unpatriotic" in doing so. The voice of dissent is what I love about America. What gets me worked up - is "Patriot v/s Unpatriotic" garbage (and hate) spewed on friends and I pre-war, because we opposed going to war based on a lie. So my friend, how dare you assume/imply people across the UAE are un-American because they didn't support Bush.

DJ: I didn't support the war, and like I've said before, where things stand, it's best to work together to rebuild and put Iraq/Afghanistan together. Enough with violence and killing one another. Those soldiers are doing heck of lot to help put the place back together, for a better tomorrow, with not much help from anywhere else.

rosh said...

...apologies on going way off topic.

Kyle said...


You didn’t like my patriotic American reference, that’s cool.

I have nothing else to say to you.

rosh said...

Kyle, I expected more understanding from you.

OK then, whatever.

Proud Emirati said...

yea, go one beat'em all Rosh and Kyle

Anonymous said...

Re the Hard Rock incident I knew a journo who was there at the scene just after - and what was reported was not quite what happened!
I remember a few years ago Nael Town was sealed off and everybody searched coming in/out.
A lot things go on we know nothing about, but by their very nature security services cannot operate in the full view of the press. So if there is a warning like that you maybe sure there is some substance in it.
Whether its any more dangerous than the UK, well, New Street Station B'ham UK always scared me when we had our daily bomb threat, it was a long way out...

samuraisam said...

anonymous @ 17 June, 2008 10:35: Your comment has been deleted; stop being an idiot.

dxbiangirl said...

I don't think it's true. It's been denied by the higher authorties here. Don't you think they're just too calm???

Why only warn the British people living or coming to the UAE?
UK talks about WORLD peace huh???


Allah is our protecter!!!

Anonymous said...

Gone are those days when british expats would heed to such badly researched warnings .There are going to be more such warnings by them .So the question is why would the expats leave one of the most peaceful and fastest growing places back to britain ,a country who economy is nosediving and crumbling to pieces

Keefieboy said...

Anon: heed to such badly researched warnings

This comment thread has got seriously weird. Why would the UK government (or any other government) raise its threat level for no reason? And why would anyone expect them to publish any intelligence/evidence that they might have?

Anonymous said...

Sex Terrorists?

A New Zealand woman living in Dubai is facing charges of sexually harassing and molesting a female police officer.


BuJassem said...

Dedicated to all those who lack a knowledge of the official language of the UAE:

"Arabic newspapers lash out at US, UK terror alerts

By Abbas Al Lawati, Staff Reporter
Published: June 19, 2008, 00:04

"Dubai: Arabic newspaper editorials on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on the British and American embassies for issuing terrorism warnings they considered to be lacking in justification.

Opinion pieces and editorials in the country's Arabic press blamed the two countries' embassies of being irresponsible for what they claimed was the embassies' lack of coordination with local authorities and lack of elaboration on the nature of the alleged threat.

continued below...



Proud Emirati said...

lol @ BuJassem

tenali raman said...


Bujassem, Proud People and others!

"...2- Warnings are good if backed by evidence."

One must admit the logic is incontrovertible.

They could do it this way:

Headline: Here's how we got our evidence.

Subhead: Since this gives detailed information on how top secret intelligence gathering works, Al Qaeda and others please pay special attention.

They could then go into detail about how they got their information and lay out the evidence (it should be hard evidence, or else we will not pay attention, and contimue to go to "places frequented by expats", get on our trains and buses, and ride up the elevators in our skyscrapers...up, up, up to the top of the world and not take any precaution whatsoever!)

One in the eye for you, British Intelligence Services!

Learn from us how to do it. First we lay out all the evidence, show everyone how our intelligence operatives work (for details of guided tours--Dh. 5 per head--please contact the kind people at the reception desk) then we issue the warning.

Of course all such terrorist warnings will also carry this epilogue:

"Kindly do not follow the precautions outlined in this warning unless you are completely satisfied that the evidenced presented herein is fully convincing and justifiable. We realise that a healthy scepticism is evidence of intelligence and maturity, and hence the last thing we would want to do is inconvenience you in any way or quite foolishly force you to make any changes (however small) in your regular routine as a result of this silly warning. Do have a good day."

All this depressing talk aside, I wonder if anyone can help me. I have heard of the "digital divide" where some people have access to computers, internet and the world that such access opens up, whereas other less fortunate people do not.

Is there an "intelligence divide" as well?

BuJassem said...


"Is there an "intelligence divide" as well?"

This is pure genius!!!

nice comment, but you probably lost 96% of the readership by the first paragraph :)

do u blog?

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