May 14, 2003

Riyadh Attack Hopefully such warnings

Riyadh Attack

Hopefully such warnings will definitively be heeded in the future. If true, a major embarassment for the government in Riyadh.

"The United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia said today that the United States sought unsuccessfully to persuade the Saudi government to tighten security around residential compounds in Riyadh before Monday night's attacks.

The ambassador, Robert W. Jordan, said the request had been prompted by intelligence reports that by late last month had indicated that militants might be in the final stages of planning a terrorist attack.

"As soon as we learned of this particular threat information, we contacted the Saudi government," Ambassador Jordan said on the CBS program "The Early Show."

"We continue to work with the Saudis on this, but they did not, as of the time of this tragic event, provide the additional security we requested."

A spokesman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, Nail al-Jubeir, said he did not know of any specific request made by the United States government."

UPDATE: A source in Saudi relays: "While Amb. Jordan did indeed ask--on three occasions--for increased security, he did not ask it of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the requests were made to the Ministry of Interior. Hence, the Saudi Embassy in DC is not obfuscating. They didn't get the requests as those requests were not made through their channels."

Fair enough, though that begs the question as to why there is not better inter-ministry coordination in Riyadh.

Posted by Gregory at May 14, 2003 04:34 PM
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