US Embassy In Saudi Continues To Remain Closed Over Security Fears

Currently no visa or consular services are being provided in Riyadh, Jeddah or Dhahran.

The United States embassy in Saudi Arabia, which has temporarily stopped all consular services, will remain closed for the fourth consecutive day over “unspecified” security concerns.

“The consular services remain suspended,” embassy press officer Johann Schmonsees told AFP.

Currently no visa or consular services are being provided in Riyadh, Jeddah or Dhahran, the agency reported.

The embassy said that it decided to remain closed to the public due to “heightened security concerns” though it did not specify the nature or seriousness of the threat.

It also warned all US citizens in the Kingdom to keep a low profile when they are out in the public.

The US stopped providing all consular services on Sunday, March 15.

The freeze in consular activities came after a separate warning was issued last week of an imminent attack on oil workers in Saudi Arabia by a terrorist group.

The embassy did not identify any militant group but said that western workers could be a target for a possible kidnapping or an attack.

Internal tensions, especially against Shiite minority and western workers, have been brewing in the Kingdom ever since the country joined US-led airstrikes against ISIL in Syria and Iraq.

There have been a number of attacks against western workers last year, much like in 2003 when US citizens were at a risk from Al Qaeda.

In October 2014, a US citizen was shot dead while another was wounded in Riyadh. Following that, a citizen of Denmark was shot and wounded in the capital while a Canadian was stabbed in Dhahran.

However, the government confirmed a terrorist link only in the Danish national’s case where authorities said that the attack was carried out “in support of ISIL”.

Apart from ISIL, Saudi Arabia has also declared Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.