Information as of: 12:00pm ET, Monday, December 6, 2004.
The U.S. Consulate in the western port city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was attacked by terrorists at about 11: a.m. local (0800 GMT) Monday, December 6, 2004. (Arab News)
Five attackers used explosives to breach the outer wall of the compound and entered the building.
Three attackers were killed and two were captured. (News24)
Four security guards were killed and at least two wounded. (AP)
Five non-American consular staff members were killed. American diplomatic staff members were unharmed and accounted for. (AFP / BBC)
President Bush thanked Saudi Arabia for quick response to the attack during a televised appearance with the President of Iraq.
Check the SUSRIS Terrorism Timeline for additional background material.
Attack on US Consulate
JEDDAH, 6 December 2004 — Three gunmen with suspected Al-Qaeda links who attacked the U.S. consulate in Jeddah today were killed by security forces, the Interior Ministry said. These three were among the five who stormed the consulate building in the morning. The remaining two were arrested following a gun battle.
At least four members of the Saudi security detail were also killed and several wounded when they clashed with the gunmen who attacked the compound, police said.
“A gang affiliated to the deviant group hurled explosives on the gate of the U.S. consulate in Jeddah at 11 a.m. (0800 GMT) today and then entered the area surrounding the consulate,” an Interior Ministry statement said.
“Security forces dealt with them immediately and brought the situation under control. Three of the attackers were killed and two were arrested after they were wounded. The authorities concerned are following up the incident,” said the ministry statement, quoted by the official SPA news agency.
The ministry did not mention casualties among the security forces, but said it would issue a more detailed account later.
“At least four security people were killed when they clashed with the gunmen who stormed the consulate. Several others were wounded,” a police officer at the scene said.
U.S. officials said all Americans at the consulate were safe and accounted for, although one source said two non-American staff members were wounded.
“I can confirm that two locally-engaged staff members have been injured,” Carol Kalin, spokewoman at the U.S. Embassy in the capital Riyadh, said.
The embassy was still in the process of confirming the status of the rest of local staff members, she added, while reiterating that all American diplomats were accounted for.
Meanwhile, security in the Eastern Province was dramatically heightened. Students at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) were forced to enter the university campus from the gate near Saudi Aramco. The campus’ main gate near the American consulate was inaccessible due to roads surrounding the consulate being blocked by security forces. Even within the KFUPM campus, roads adjacent to the consulate were closed. Saudi Aramco security was also increased with congestion reported at main access points to Aramco.
Traffic was diverted away from highway exits leading to Dhahran Road near the U.S. Consulate. The U.S. Consulate was cordoned off completely and while operations within the facility continued, no one was allowed in or out. There was relief on the part of hundreds of parents when a decision was eventually made to bring in school buses to transport students home from schools. (Inputs from Agencies)
[Reprinted with permission]
Special Report #2 U.S. Consulate, Jeddah Attacked
Gun Battle at US mission (BBC)
U.S. Consulate in Saudi Arabia Attacked (Washington Post)
Gunmen Raid U.S. Consulate in Saudi Arabia (New York Times)
US consulate stormed in Jeddah (AP, AFP, Reuters)
Gun battle at US’ Jeddah mission (World News)
Gunmen killed in attack on US consulate in Jeddah (Xinhua)
Q&A: Jeddah and the US consulate attack (The Times)
Eyewitness: Attack in Jeddah (BBC)
Terrorism Timeline – Saudi Arabia and the Global War on Terrorism – SUSRIS Web Site