SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia warned on Sunday of possible imminent terrorist attacks in Indonesia, including on the resort island of Bali, and told its citizens to think twice before traveling there.
In an upgraded travel advisory, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said terrorists were actively planning attacks that could take place at any time.
The advisory says Australians should reconsider their need to travel to Indonesia.
"There have been recent arrests of high-level terrorist operatives in
Indonesia, but we assess terrorists are continuing active planning of
attacks," it said.
In 2002, bombs ripped through two nightclubs on Bali, a predominately Hindu island.
Members of the Southeast Asia militant group Jemaah Islamiah were
convicted of the blasts, which killed 202 people, including 88
Two years later the Australian embassy in Jakarta was bombed and in
October 2005, 23 people, including four Australians, died in suicide
attacks on Bali restaurants.
More attacks "could take place at any time and could be imminent," DFAT
said. "Particular care should be taken at this time to avoid known
These included Bali and the capital Jakarta, DFAT said.
"Ask yourself whether, given your own personal circumstances, you're
comfortable traveling to Indonesia including Bali, knowing that there
is a very high threat from terrorism and you may be caught up in a
terrorist attack," the advisory said.
Asked about the Australian warning, an Indonesian police spokesman,
Bambang Kuncoko, said the security situation was "favorable".
"So far there's nothing to worry about," he said.
"It is the right of every country to issue a travel advisory. With or
without travel advisories, we continue to be pro-active to maintain
security," he said.
Last month Indonesian police arrested two alleged top Jemaah Islamiyah
leaders, including Abu Dujana, who admitted to heading its military
Australia is probing whether attempted bombings in London and Glasgow
last week could be linked to home after questioning at least six Indian
doctors, one of whom remains in police custody.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Sunday fast-tracked changes to
immigration screening which match intelligence data with a person's
travel and financial history to determine if they might be a security
threat to Australia.