Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – According to information obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat from informed sources with regards to the threats being faced by foreign diplomatic missions on Yemeni territory, the Saudi embassy in Sanaa is the second most targeted embassy by the terrorist groups operating in the country.
The information reveals that the Saudi embassy in Yemen is the second most targeted foreign embassy in Yemen, after the British embassy in Sanaa, by Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups operating on Yemeni soil. The information also revealed that he US embassy in Yemen is the third most targeted.
It is well known that a group of Saudi citizens fled to Al Qaeda over the past two years, re-joining the ranks of this terrorist organization, after the Saudi security authorities were able to eliminate Al Qaeda’s presence in the country, either arresting or killing all of its members there.
The British embassy in Yemen has suffered the most number of terrorist attacks of all the foreign embassies in Yemen. This fact is illustrated by the rocket attack that took place yesterday on an armored vehicle that was carrying 5 British embassy staff in Yemen, resulting in only minor injuries.
The information obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat from informed sources also revealed that the Saudi embassy in Sanaa received between one and three warnings a week of a possible terrorist attack, and that the British embassy receives a higher number – on average – of such warnings. According to the information, the most recent period has not seen any attacks being made against Saudi interests in Yemen, although the Saudi embassy remains a constant target. The information also revealed that not one week passes without the Saudi embassy in Sanaa receiving threats of attack.
Asharq Al-Awsat tried to speak with Saudi ambassador to Yemen Ali al-Hamdan, and Yemeni ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mohammed al-Ahwal, to comment on this issue, but had not received any response at the time of publication.
For its part, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that it takes any and all threats against its diplomatic missions abroad extremely seriously.
Saudi spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Osama Naqli, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “in general, any threat to any diplomatic mission is treated extremely seriously by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is passed on to the government of the host country that is responsible for protecting all foreign [diplomatic] mission and their staff in the host country.”
As for how such threats are dealt with, Naqli told Asharq Al-Awsat that “it is incumbent upon the authorities of the host country to take all necessary security precautions to protect diplomats and diplomatic missions from any potential threats.”