Tapes show terror attack on U.S. consulate

Dec. 7, 2005 at 1:06 PM
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JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was attacked by al-Qaida in December 2004 despite a critical threat level warning, ABC News reports.

Showing tapes of the attack, ABC reported it took the terrorists only five seconds to enter the consulate compound to stage the attack in which five people died.

After entering the compound in a sedan that had pulled up behind a consulate vehicle, the terrorists get out of their vehicle and open fire to get through security gates, including an expensive obstacle known as a Delta barrier. At that time, the Saudi troops assigned to protect the consulate are seen running in the opposite direction, the report said.

Subsequently one terrorist was shot dead, while four others were killed in a gun battle. The U.S. State Department continues to assert its response was successful as no U.S. citizen was harmed, ABC said.

But Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism adviser and now an ABC News consultant, says the State Department should have high security standards in Jeddah. "The fact that they weren't means that someone wasn't doing their job," Clarke said.

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