US warns Western expats working in the Middle East over jihadist threat

Published:  31 Oct at 6 PM
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US embassies based in capital cities across the Middle East have issued a terrorism attack warning to US expats and Western teachers after an extremist group posted threats on its website.

All British and American schools in the region are now under enhanced security, and embassies are working with UAE officials to improve protection for teachers and pupils. Warnings on embassy websites urge vigilance as regards personal security concerns as well as watching local English language media for further developments.

According to the USA mission in the region, although no specific threats have been posted, the jihadist website contained an anonymous message encouraging attacks on Westerners. Teachers in US-associated schools in Jeddah seem to be most at risk, along with US citizens in the Egyptian city of Maadi.

Embassies across the Middle East are asking their expat citizens to report any unusual sightings or suspicious behavior. Advice given includes avoiding crowded places and public gatherings, having a plan of escape if violence breaks out, noting the locations of the nearest police stations and hospitals and informing neighbours or work colleagues of your movements.

Phones with pre-programmed emergency numbers should be carried at all times, and keeping a low profile in public places is recommended. The warnings apply as much to short-term visitors as they do to long-stay workers and their families, and updates on any changes to the situation can be found on USA Embassy websites.
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