Australia warns terrorists in 'very advanced stages' of planning attacks in Indonesia
Channel News Asia | June 10, 2005
SYDNEY: Australia updated its warning against travel to Indonesia for the second time in a week Friday after police there warned militants were planning attacks against Western targets.
"We continue to receive a stream of credible reporting suggesting that terrorists are in the very advanced stages of planning attacks in Indonesia," said the travel warning issued by the foreign ministry.
"Attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in Indonesia and could be directed at any locations known to be frequented by foreigners," it said.
"Recent credible reporting suggests that international hotels frequented by westerners in Jakarta are being targeted in current terrorist planning."
The warning says potential targets include embassies, international schools, office buildings and shopping malls.
Australia re-issued its travel warning just hours after Indonesian police said there had been an increase in communication among militants wanted for a string of deadly attacks indicating they were planning fresh strikes.
"We can say to the public that there has been an increase in the intensity of their communication. Intelligence agencies are working hard to monitor them," national police chief General Da'i Bachtiar told reporters.
Bachtiar said the militants were believed to be in Indonesia but had contact with others overseas.
"It's hard to arrest them because the country is so large and there are always people who help them in hiding," the police chief said.
Australia has recommended its citizens avoid all "non-essential" travel to Indonesia since Islamic militants bombed a night club strip on the resort island of Bali in October 2002 killing 202 people, 88 of them Australian tourists.
Australia's embassy was also hit by a suicide bomber in September 2004.