December 7, 2004: Headlines: COS - Oman: Diplomacy: Saudi Arabia: Terrorism: Cleveland Plain Dealer: Oman RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jiddah, survived attack on the consulate without injury

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Oman: Special Report: Diplomat and Oman RPCV Oman RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley: December 7, 2004: Headlines: COS - Oman: Diplomacy: Saudi Arabia: Terrorism: Cleveland Plain Dealer: Oman RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jiddah, survived attack on the consulate without injury
RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.


By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-36-89.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.36.89) on Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - 10:48 am: Edit Post

Oman RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jiddah, survived attack on the consulate without injury

Oman RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jiddah, survived attack on the consulate without injury

Oman RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jiddah, survived attack on the consulate without injury

Consul, a Heights alum, unhurt in attack

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

John P. Coyne

Plain Dealer Reporter

Caption: Saudi forces gather outside the U.S. consulate compound in Jidda after Islamic militants forced their way in and killed five employees. Officials said four of the five assailants were killed, and the last was being held.
(Saudi Gazette)


Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jiddah, survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury, but her driver was killed, the diplomat's brother said.

Abercrombie-Winstanley, who grew up in Cleveland Heights and still has an Ohio driver's license, was in her office when a band of militants lobbing explosives forced their way into the heavily guarded compound about 3:15 a.m. EST, according to news reports. Five consular employees and four others were killed. None of the casualties was an American.

"It was very, very scary," Abercrombie-Winstanley said in a phone conversation with her sister, retired Navy Capt. Lynne Hicks of Fairfax, Va. "It was a melee. Everything happened very quickly."

Abercrombie-Winstanley told her sister that Saudi security officials made sure those in the consulate were taken to safe quarters before they launched an attack on the terrorists that lasted three hours.

The diplomat's brother, John Brentt of Cleveland Heights, said he learned of the attack while visiting with his mother in Columbus. He said he was awakened about 4:15 a.m. Monday by a call from one of his sister's associates in Saudi Arabia who wanted her phone number.

Brentt said he called the State Department in Washington to find out what happened and initially was told only that the Americans were all accounted for, but their conditions were unknown. It was about an hour later before he learned his sister was "fine, but a little exhausted."

Abercrombie-Winstanley, 46, a graduate of Cleveland Heights High School and George Washington University, worked in the Persian Gulf for the Peace Corps before joining the foreign service 19 years ago. She has served as consul general in Jiddah since 2002.

In March, during one of her three visits to Cleveland this year, she spoke to members of the Cleveland Foreign Affairs Council about America's relationship with Saudi Arabia.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

jcoyne@plaind.com, 216-999-4845


© 2004 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission.





When this story was posted in December 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.

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