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Rumsfeld Approves Family, Worker Relocation From Bahrain

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2004 – Increased threat of terrorist attack has led Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to approve the temporary relocation of eligible family members and non-emergency Defense Department personnel from Bahrain.

Military officials are developing procedures to execute the mandatory departure, Pentagon officials said. News reports said the order could affect up to 650 family members and DoD employees who would be sent to safe haven in the continental United States.

Bahrain is headquarters for the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet.

A State Department travel warning issued July 1 urged U.S. citizens in Bahrain to consider departing and warned U.S. citizens to defer travel to Bahrain.

"Credible information indicates that extremists remain at large and are planning attacks in Bahrain," State Dept. officials said. "In neighboring Saudi Arabia, for example, terrorists have targeted residential housing compounds using vehicle bombs, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries, including to American citizens."

Pentagon officials said the departure has been approved for 30 days and will remain in effect thereafter until terminated. Those who leave may not return until the mandatory departure is terminated.

Military officials have also issued a "stop-movement" order for all dependent personnel bound for Bahrain.

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