The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.

In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Don't panic 

...like those panicky US diplomats in Riyadh, they're always issuing security warnings.

No Terror Threat, Says Interior Ministry

The US Embassy in Riyadh and its consulates in Jeddah and Dhahran will be closed today and tomorrow due to terrorist threats against the missions’ buildings in the Kingdom, the US Embassy announced here yesterday

However, the Interior Ministry, led by Prince "Nasty" Nayif, says there's absolutely no threat. And if that's what he says, then I don't know about you, but I'm happy to believe him. After all, those Americans bleated warnings back in 2003 and 2004 and what happened?

Housing compounds got blown up, that's what happened.

But then, I'm exaggerating, as always. As the article goes on to explain

In 2004, a few Westerners were killed in a spate of terrorist attacks in major cities in the Kingdom.

Storm in a teacup, really. A bunch of terrorists just went into a housing compound in Khobar, indiscriminately shooting anyone in sight. Then they went from door to door, looking for infidel Westerners or Christians to wipe out. Only a "few" people were killed; well 50 people were taken hostage, and 22 murdered, to be precise.

Wikipedia 29_May_2004_Al-Khobar_massacres

However, the majority of the victims in those attacks were Asians and Arabs.
Oh, that's alright then.

So the Westerners had no need to worry last year, as they don't now? Well, the Westerners I've known in Saudi have always been very plucky and resilient, but with that attack, following the attack on 3 compounds in 2003, they left in droves. And I don't blame them.

An example - the British School in Riyadh used to have a majority of British and European pupils, with a minority of Asians. That has now swung completely the other way. When all the British Aerospace families leave later this year for a "safe", self-contained compound 30 miles north-east of the city, then it'll be a British School in name only. That's the result of all these attacks, which the Interior Ministry said would never happen.

It would be nice if Nayif were right and the US were wrong. I just have a sinking feeling it'll be the reverse.

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