British, Canadian embassies in Amman reopen after terror threats

The British and Canadian embassies in the Jordanian capital are set to reopen on Sunday and the Australian Embassy will resume business Monday after a weeklong closure due to terror threats, according to their Foreign Ministry officials. However, the embassies cautioned their citizens that there was still a "high threat" of terror attacks in Jordan.

On Saturday, a 24-hour hot line at Canada's Foreign Affairs Ministry in Ottawa announced that its embassy in Amman was scheduled to reopen Sunday. Earlier in the week, the British Embassy said it will be "open as normal" as of Sunday. On Friday, the British Foreign Office revised its travel advice for Jordan and said "there is a high threat from terrorism in Jordan. Attacks could be indiscriminate and happen at any time and in any place."

The Web site for the Australian Embassy in Amman announced that it would open Monday but advised its citizens to "exercise a high degree of caution in Jordan because of the high threat of terrorist attack. We continue to receive reports that terrorists may be planning attacks in Jordan against Westerners and places frequented by Westerners."

A Jordanian government official was not immediately available for comment. Britain had closed it embassy in Amman a week ago and had advised its nationals that "terrorists may be in the final stages of planning attacks against Westerners and places frequented by Westerners." The move prompted the Canadian and Australian embassies to follow suit.

The U.S. Embassy remained open. Jordan maintained that its security services have analyzed available information and the embassy closures were "unwarranted." Despite that, it beefed up security around the embassies.

The closures came two months after triple suicide bomb attacks on Western-based hotels in Amman killed 63 people, including the three bombers. Al-Qaida in Iraq, led by Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

An audiotape attributed to al-Zarqawi and posted on the Internet in November warned Amman of more attacks unless it stopped training Iraq's fledgling security forces and closed the U.S. and Israeli embassies, reports the AP. N.U.