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Dubai's PR machine kicks in: Denies terror threats

Dubai's PR machine kicks in: Denies terror threats

Old Jun 18th 2008, 4:35 am
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Default Dubai's PR machine kicks in: Denies terror threats

UK's terror warning a 'routine' advice

By Duraid Al Baik, Foreign Editor, Kevin Scott and Alice Johnson, Staff Reporters
Published: June 17, 2008, 23:53


Dubai: British expatriates in the UAE were unmoved by the UK government's decision to raise the terror threat level in the Emirates from "general" to "high" on Monday.

The US embassy also reiterated its travel advisory to Americans in the Middle East, including the UAE, reminding its citizens to maintain a high level of personal security awareness.

Commenting on the developments on a local radio station yesterday, Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Chief of Dubai Police, said: "We have no clue about what the British Embassy is talking about. We assure everyone in the UAE that security personnel are on top alert to ensure safety and security. There is no reason to think that terrorists will strike the UAE. Our country is safe and will remain safe," he said.

A UAE security expert who spoke to Gulf News on Tuesday said: "These terror advisories usually come in the form of travel warnings issued by both the American and British authorities. This happens closer to July 4 [American Independence Day] and July 7 [day of the London bombings]. This is a pattern and is a case of crying wolf by the officials. They want their citizens to be alert all the time."

Simon Goldsmith, Second Secretary of Political and Media Affairs in the British Embassy, Dubai, said: "We never comment on intelligence issues. This is a long-standing UK Government policy. Our travel advice is under constant review." Accepting that the British authorities normally do not overreact, the UAE security expert added: "It appears that this time they could have been prompted by their American counterparts.

"As an expert I cannot deny that there are no threats whatsoever, but most of this comes through the more than 5,000 websites managed by jidahist groups. This has been going on for months.

"I have reliable information that the British authorities have tried to get information about the alleged threats, but failed to make any headway. Therefore, they felt that their announcement, however vague, could put extra pressure on the UAE security officials. Security in the UAE, however, is always on top alert. Having said that, there is no guarantee that a terror attack cannot take place, but security personnel will make it difficult for them to succeed."

Andy Clarke, a construction manager from the UK, appeared unperturbed: "I lived in London during the IRA bombs and I feel safer living here than I did back then." J.C Butler from New Mexico was also optimistic. "I'm actually more worried when the British government issues a warning ... I won't be thinking twice before going out to the malls, or nightclubs."
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Old Jun 18th 2008, 5:28 am
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Default Re: Dubai's PR machine kicks in: Denies terror threats

What an insult

"This is a pattern and is a case of crying wolf by the officials. They want their citizens to be alert all the time."
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