Embassies warned of terror threat
Oct. 2, 1997, 1 a.m. |
KYIV - The U.S. and Israeli embassies in Ukraine's capital say they have stepped up security precautions after a warning from Ukrainian authorities about a potential terrorist threat.
Neither foreign mission would elaborate. And the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) denied unconfirmed reports that it had arrested suspects in a terror plot.
'On Sept. 26, the U.S. Embassy was notified by Ukrainian authorities of a potential terrorist threat against U.S. government facilities in Ukraine,' the embassy acknowledged in a brief press release Monday Sept. 29.
'Over the weekend, the Ukrainian government took steps to deal with the situation, and the embassy has put into effect appropriate precautions.'
The Israelis were equally tight-lipped. 'We received the same message and took approximately the same measures,' said Alon Shoham, administrator at the Israeli Embassy. The embassy now awaits additional information from Ukrainian authorities clarifying the situation and specifying the security warning's duration, he added.
Neither embassy would describe the nature or origin of the threat, nor elaborate on its security precautions. But at least one other foreign institution was reported to have been placed on alert. The Kyiv International School, located near the U.S. Embassy and attended by some American and Israeli children, was warned to take precautions, said school Director Michael Tewalthomas.
Some U.S. government employees were told this week that the suspects arrested by the SBU plotted primarily against an Israeli facility, with U.S. property a secondary target. SBU spokesman Anatoly Sakhno denied that his organization, the successor to Ukraine's branch of the KGB, has foiled any terrorist plot directed at foreign targets. He declined to give any further details.
(Post staff writer Katya Gorchinskaya contributed to this report.)