Fears of a terrorist attack were growing today as the British in Saudi Arabia were told an onslaught could be “imminent” and the US raised its terror alert status.
The British Embassy in the Saudi capital Riyadh closed to the public following intelligence reports that terrorist attacks were being planned.
A British Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We have received credible information that further terrorist attacks against unspecified targets in Saudi Arabia are being planned and may take place imminently.”
British citizens have been told not to travel to the kingdom unless it is essential and there is a “high threat of further large or small-scale attacks against Western interests in Saudi Arabia”, Britain's Foreign Office’s website warned.
“Terrorist attacks could involve the use of chemical and biological materials,” it continued.
The Bush administration raised America’s terror alert level to orange, its second highest level, amid fears that the wave of terrorist attacks in Saudi, Morocco and Israel will spread to the US.
America’s alert status was raised after counter-terrorism officials reviewed intelligence reports suggesting that domestic terrorist attacks were possible.
The British consulate in Jeddah and trade office in al Khobar were also closing from today.
It is expected the offices will reopen on May 24, although the situation will be kept under review.
The US closed its embassy and consulates in the Middle Eastern kingdom yesterday, a week after the series of suicide bomb attacks in Riyadh which killed 34 people. Germany has also closed its embassy until Friday at the earliest.
The orchestrated suicide attacks on three residential compounds on the outskirts of Riyadh on May 12 claimed the lives of 34 people, including the nine bombers.
Four days later, 12 suicide bombers killed 29 people in Casablanca in Morocco.
Officials in both countries are continuing to investigate the attacks.