Terror Threat Puts US Forces in Bahrain on Alert
US forces in Bahrain are on a higher state of alert after a weekend threat against potential American targets there, US officials told CNN Wednesday.
The roughly 1,400 US military personnel in Bahrain were ordered to move to the Pentagon's second-highest state of alert after "a specific threat" last weekend, the officials said. That alert level indicates that "some form of terrorist action is imminent."
Bahrain is the headquarters for the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, which keeps more than a dozen warships on patrol in the Arabian Gulf.
The order, issued over the weekend, moved US forces in Bahrain to Threat Condition Charlie from Threat Condition Bravo.
Officials at the Pentagon say the heightened alert status was ordered last weekend and is not related in any way to Tuesday's conviction in a New York court of four terrorists believed by the United States to be connected to Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, reported CNN.
The four were convicted of conspiracy in the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in East Africa in which 224 people died.
ABC News, meanwhile, quoted intelligence sources as saying there was a "serious and credible terrorist threat" against Americans in Aden, the port city in Yemen where the destroyer USS Cole was damaged by a suicide bomb on October 12, 2000, reported Reuters.
Americans in the Yemeni capital have been told by Washington to "pack their bags" and were also informed that the United States would seek permission from the Yemen government to send in a plane to evacuate them, ABC reported.
There are a few dozen US citizens remaining in Aden, ABC said.
Asked about the report, a State Department spokeswoman said she had no knowledge of any plans for an evacuation of US citizens in Yemen, Reuters said – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)