Terrorism

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Saudi Arabia.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

The main threat is from Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL).

The Saudi security forces have successfully disrupted a number of planned attacks, but the scale of extremist activity is significant and attacks continue to take place.

Be especially vigilant during periods of religious significance (including the holy month of Ramadan) and public holidays; terrorist groups sometimes call for attacks at these times. Terrorists previously carried out several attacks in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan in 2016.

There are posts on jihadist websites and social media encouraging attacks against British, western and other interests, including teachers, schools, oil workers, residential compounds, military, transport and aviation interests, as well as crowded places, including restaurants, hotels, shopping centres and mosques. Further attacks are likely.

If you’re living in Saudi Arabia, you should regularly review and make sure you’re satisfied with the security measures provided by the management and local authorities at the residential compound where you live, the place where you work and the school where your children study.

Since May 2017, there have been a number of attacks in Qatif, Eastern Province. Most of these have taken place in and around Al Musarawa village in Al-Awamiya. They have included shootings by gunmen as well as the use of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and explosive devices. The majority of those targeted have been members of the Saudi security forces. Saudi security forces have conducted a number of security operations against suspected terrorists in the area.

  • On 21 April 2019, Saudi security officials killed 4 suspected terrorists when they attacked a security facility in the town of Al Zulfi, Riyadh province, with small arms and detonated an explosive suicide belt. Three Saudi security officials were injured in the exchange of fire. Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack.

  • On 7 April 2019, Saudi security forces killed 2 suspected terrorists when they attacked a checkpoint in Abu Hadriya in Eastern Province using small arms. Two further suspects were arrested. During the attack, a non-Saudi civilian was killed and another injured. Two Saudi security officials sustained injuries in the exchange of fire.

  • On 8 July 2018, one Saudi security officer and one foreign national were killed in a shooting incident at a check-point in Qassim (North-Central Saudi Arabia). Two suspected terrorists were killed and the third detained by security forces.

  • On 19 April 2018, 4 Saudi security personnel were killed and 4 others injured, in a shooting incident in the Asir region (in the South-West of Saudi Arabia). The police caught 2 of the assailants, and killed the third.

  • On 7 October 2017, 2 Saudi guards were shot dead and 3 others injured when a man drove up to the gate of the royal palace in Jeddah and began shooting. On 5 October, 2 suspected terrorists were killed during a security operation which took place across 3 sites in Riyadh.

  • On 23 June 2017, Saudi security forces disrupted an imminent terrorist attack targeting the Grand Mosque in Makkah. During the security operation, which took place at one site in Jeddah and 2 sites in Makkah, a suicide bomber injured 11 people, including 5 members of the security forces.

There is a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.