Thursday, December 31, 2009
U.S. Embassy Bali Attack Warning
Bali warns of New Year terror threat
The Bali Tourism Board widely distributed this message: “The Governor of Bali Mr. Mangku Pastika wishes to share a message with all of us: ‘There is an indication of an attack to Bali tonight,’ but please don’t panic, but put your security system to full alert.” This message is shared verbatim for your information. The safety and security recommendations in our Consular Information Sheet, quoted below, remain valid.
“Indonesian police and security forces take active measures against both ongoing threats posed by terrorist cells, including Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), a U.S. government-designated terrorist organization that carried out several bombings at various times from 2002 to 2009 and outbreaks of violence elsewhere. While Indonesia’s counterterrorism efforts have been ongoing and partly successful, violent elements have demonstrated a willingness and ability to carry out deadly attacks with little or no warning. Most recently, in November 2009, unknown assailants shot at foreigners in Banda Aceh, North Sumatra, an area that was devastated by the 2004 tsunami and the scene of a long-running separatist conflict that ended in 2005. The gunfire wounded a European development worker. A house occupied by U.S. citizen teachers was targeted and hit by gunfire, but there were no U.S. citizen casualties.
In July 2009, attacks by armed assailants in Papua resulted in several deaths, including security personnel and one Australian national. Also in July, suspected JI elements bombed two Western hotels in Jakarta, killing nine Indonesians and foreigners and injuring over 50, including six U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens in Indonesia must be physically and mentally prepared to cope with future attacks even as they go about their normal daily routines.
Extremists may target both official and private interests, including hotels, clubs and shopping centers. While it may be difficult to modify one’s behavior to counter risks in a country where places in which U.S. citizens and other Westerners must congregate to live and work are well known and few in number, it is also extremely necessary. In their work and daily living activities, and while traveling, U.S. citizens should be vigilant and prudent at all times. We urge U.S. citizens to monitor local news reports, vary their routes and times, and maintain a low profile.
U.S. citizens must consider the security and safety preparedness of hotels, residences, restaurants, and entertainment or recreation venues that they frequent.”