US suspends consular services in “Saudi” Arabia

Developing Just Leadership

Crescent International

Jumada' al-Ula' 25, 1436 2015-03-16

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

The US has been forced to shut down its fortress-like consulates in several "Saudi" cities because of security threats. While the Saudi embassy in Riyadh did not specify the threat, it closed its consular services and warned Americans in the kingdom to "take extra precautions." In recent weeks, several westerners have been attacked or killed.

Monday March 16, 2015, 18:47 DST

American consulate services in several Saudi cities including the capital Riyadh have been suspended because of “heightened security concerns.” The US embassy in Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday (March 14) that consular services in the kingdom would remain suspended for two days in Jeddah and Dhahran in addition to Riyadh. The embassy cited threats to western oil workers and fear of attack or kidnapping. While it would make sense if the services were suspended in the oil rich region of Dhahran but why in the port city of Jeddah at the other end of the kingdom or in Riyadh was not explained.

The embassy warning posted on its website also warned US citizens in the kingdom to take extra precautions and keep a low profile if they are out in public. "All US citizens are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings, and take extra precautions when travelling throughout the country," it said. The US State Department has also urged American citizens to avoid travelling to Saudi Arabia and if unavoidable, to “limit non-essential travel within the country."

The Saudi regime is one of the closest allies of the US but because of the rise of Saudi-sponsored and finance takfiri terrorists, the threat level for foreigners inside the kingdom has also increased. There are widespread reports, even confirmed by Prince Walid bin Talal on CNN (on October 19, 2014) that many individuals in Saudi Arabia are donating money to the takfiri terrorists. The Saudi prince quickly added that the regime had stopped such practices but this is virtually impossible to do.

The takfiri terrorists have now grown so powerful that they threaten the Saudi regime itself. There have been persistent reports that takfiri cells have infiltrated Saudi security forces and the regime is no longer sure of the loyalty of its own armed forces or even the National Guard.

Saudi King Salman personally invited Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the latter was received at Riyadh airport by the king himself in addition to a large contingent of the royal family. King Salman asked Nawaz Sharif for a division of the Pakistan army to protect the royal family. Given the precarious security situation in Pakistan and the threats that terrorist groups pose for Pakistan’s security, the request was politely turned down. The Pakistani premier, however, did not rule out the request completely. An official handout from the Pakistani government said that it would not be able to fulfill the request “at this time” leaving the possibility open for some arrangement in the future.

It is ironic that while the Saudi regime has been in the forefront of creating, financing and arming these terrorists to be used against the governments of Syria and Iraq, the Frankenstein monster has now grown so big that it threatens the survival of its creator itself.

The American suspension of consular services in several Saudi cities is indicative of the fact that the terrorist threat has become really serious. Since October, there have been several attacks on Westerners in the kingdom. These have included attacks on two employees of the US defence contractor Vinnell, a Dane and a Canadian. In October, one Vinnell employee was shot dead and another wounded at a gas station in Riyadh.


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