The following State Department warning on travel to Saudi Arabia was issued on May 1, 2003:
This Travel Warning is being updated to alert U.S. citizens to increased security concerns in Saudi Arabia. This Travel Warning supersedes that of February 12, 2003.
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Saudi Arabia. Information indicates that terrorist groups may be in the final phases of planning attacks against U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia. There is no information regarding the possible target.
Non-emergency personnel and family members of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Saudi Arabia continue to be authorized to depart Saudi Arabia on a voluntary basis. Private U.S. citizens currently in Saudi Arabia should evaluate their own security situations, and should consider departing Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates have advised employees and family members to limit travel to essential business only.
As stated in the current Public Announcement, Middle East and North Africa Update, Americans are reminded of the potential for further terrorist actions against U.S. citizens abroad, specifically in the Middle East, including the Persian Gulf.
Personnel at the United States Embassy and Consulates in Saudi Arabia remain available to provide emergency information and services to American citizens.
U.S. citizens who remain in Saudi Arabia despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, or at the Consulates in Jeddah and Dhahran, and enroll in the warden system (emergency alert network) in order to obtain updated information on travel and security in Saudi Arabia.
As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the Internet, U.S. travelers can get up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 in the U.S., or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328.
U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State’s Consular Information Sheet for Saudi Arabia and the World Wide Caution Public Announcement, on the Department’s internet website at http://travel.state.gov.