US embassy in UAE issues terror alert(Lead)

June 17th, 2008 - 11:20 pm ICT by IANS  


Dubai, June 17 (IANS) The US embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has warned its citizens in this Gulf nation of potential terrorist acts ahead of the American Independence Day celebrations July 4. “The embassy (in Abu Dhabi) and consulate general (in Dubai) wish to advise Americans that potential exists for terrorists to plan and carry out violent actions in the region, including the UAE, and for this reason Americans should maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times, particularly in public places,” a message posted on the embassy website Tuesday said.

The warning comes close on the heels of a similar alert sounded by the British embassy in Abu Dhabi.

The alert level was updated Saturday on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office website from ‘general’ to ‘high’.

“There is a high threat from terrorism. We believe terrorists may be planning to carry out attacks in the UAE,” the British foreign office website posting stated.

“Attacks could be indiscriminate and could happen at any time, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers such as residential compounds, military, oil, transport and aviation interests. You should maintain a high level of security awareness, particularly in public places,” it added.

“We issue travel guidance for every country and it is constantly updated,” the Arabian Business website had quoted British embassy spokesperson Simon Goldsmith as saying.

He added that threat levels tended to go up and down.

“What we are not doing and I underline ‘not’ is advising people to change their travel plans,” he stressed.

The UAE, a federation of seven emirates, is home to a large number of expatriates, a majority of them from the Indian subcontinent.

The country has the world’s fifth largest reserves of oil and gas.

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