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Thu 3 Nov 2016 11:37 AM

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UK upgrades terror threat for Qatar

Foreign and Commonwealth Office urges British citizens to be vigilant, but does not advise against travel to Qatar

UK upgrades terror threat for Qatar
British Embassy in Doha.

The British government this week upgraded its terrorism threat warning for Qatar from “underlying” to “general”.

In an update on Tuesday, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said this means there is “some level of known terrorism activity”.

Before yesterday, the online travel advice for Qatar said it was considered to be at an “underlying” risk of terrorism.

From November 1, the FCO called on British nationals in Qatar to “maintain a high level of security awareness”. It warned that potential attacks could be “indiscriminate, including places visited by foreigners”.

The FCO said: “You should maintain a high level of security awareness, particularly in public places. Avoid large gatherings and demonstrations.”

However, the FCO did not specifically advise against travelling to Qatar.

A spokeswoman for the British Embassy in Doha told Arabian Business: “On 1 November we amended our Travel Advice for Qatar. We keep our travel advice under constant review.

“Our advice makes clear that there is a general threat from terrorism in Qatar. We do not advise against travel to any part of Qatar.”

There are around 17,500 British nationals living in Qatar, and approximately 40,000 visit annually.

There had been no prior discussion about an increased terror threat to people in Qatar.

In the UAE, meanwhile, there is a “high threat” of terrorism. In its travel advice for the UAE last updated on September 26, the FCO warns that there is a high risk globally against British citizens, particularly from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. It warns people to “be vigilant at this time”.

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