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American embassy re-opens

Muawia E.ibrahim
Filed on March 27, 2004

ABU DHABI - The American diplomatic missions in the country will reopen today after closing due to what was described by the mission as a ôspecific threat

'The US Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the consulate in Dubai will reopen and resume normal operations Saturday,' the embassy said in a statement made available to Khaleej Times on Friday.

The US missions temporarily suspended operations on Wednesday, in light of the threat to the embassy in Abu Dhabi for which the police is questioning a man. 'The US Mission appreciates the UAE government's rapid and effective response to the threat information received by the embassy and the UAE's close cooperation over the past two days,' embassy spokeswoman Hilary Olsin-Windecker said in the statement.

Mrs. Olsin-Windecker, however, declined to answer a question by this reporter as to whether the suspect was released. She also refused to comment on the proceeding of the investigation.

An earlier statement by the embassy said the two missions will be assessing their security posture on the Thursday-Friday (weekend) with regard to the re-opening Saturday. The precautionary measures at the missions in the UAE followed a worldwide caution issued on Tuesday by the US Department of State in which it expressed deep concern about the heightened threat of terrorist attacks against US citizens and interests abroad in the aftermath of the recent killing of Hamas spiritual leader Shaikh Ahmed Yassin.

The department also issued travel warnings for the Middle East and North Africa, saying: 'Credible information has indicated terrorist groups may be planning attacks against US interests in the Middle East. While conventional weapons such as explosive devices are a more immediate threat in many areas, use of non-conventional weapons, including chemical or biological agents must be considered a possible threat', the department said.

Abu Dhabi's suspect was believed to have been carrying a bag.

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