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Andrea Koppel: State Department takes precautions

Andrea Koppel
Andrea Koppel

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In the wake of multiple bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last week and intelligence indicating plans for further attacks, the U.S. State Department is taking extra precautions to protect Americans in the kingdom.

CNN State Department Correspondent Andrea Koppel reports on those measures and the reasons behind them.

KOPPEL: The U.S. has decided to shut down its embassy, as well as two U.S. consulates in the Saudi kingdom. We know that a lot of this is based on credible threats to unspecified sites in the Saudi kingdom.

This is a move that's being made obviously responding to last week's terrorist attacks in Riyadh. This includes not only the U.S. embassy in Riyadh, but also two U.S. consulates, one in the eastern part of the country in Dharhan and the other in the western port of Jeddah.

There are 35,000 American citizens who call Saudi Arabia home. Now, specifically, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, had said that Saudi intelligence authorities had received also credible threats that another big attack was in the works, another big terrorist attack somewhere in Saudi Arabia or perhaps somewhere in the United States.

But U.S. officials are saying that they have no reason to raise the threat level, the color-coding. Now, just on Monday, there was a gunman who was arrested outside the gates of the consulate in Dharhan. Saudi authorities are investigating ... as well as the site of last week's bombings at those housing complexes in Riyadh.

U.S. officials tell us that right now they are getting good cooperation with Saudi authorities, despite the fact that the Saudi authorities themselves are saying that U.S. investigators are there in an observer's role. Our understanding is that's being said for public consumption.

The fact is that the cooperation on the ground is quite good. There is no determination yet as to when the embassy and consulates will reopen, but they should be closed at least through Sunday.


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