Indonesia | Travel advice | Smartraveller: The Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service Published on Jan 6, 2015
Australians warned to avoid Bali due to terror fears
The Australian government on Monday warned Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, because of a "high threat of terrorist attack".
The advice followed a warning from the US government on 3 January of a potential threat against US-associated hotels and banks in Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city.
The government stopped short of warning people not to travel to Indonesia.
However attack there "could take place at any time", the government said."We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including Bali, at this time due to the high threat of terrorist attack," the alert said. "We continue to receive information that indicates that terrorists may be planning attacks in Indonesia, which could take place at any time."
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told a press conference Tuesday that Australians should take note of the latest warning and ensure they have travel insurance. "There is always the need to be alert when travelling overseas," she said. "We are currently working with Indonesia law enforcement agencies."
The recent warning followed an alert by the U.S. on Jan. 3 regarding a potential threat in Surabaya, Indonesia's second largest city and the departure city of AirAsia flight 8501. The U.S. did not associate the plane crash with the latest terror alert.
“The U.S. Embassy has been made aware of a potential threat against U.S.-associated hotels and banks in Surabaya, Indonesia. The U.S. Embassy recommends heightened vigilance and awareness of one’s surroundings when visiting such facilities,” the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta posted on its website.
Police in Jakarta have refuted the claims, telling The Jakarta Post there is no risk of a terror attack in the region.
“There’s nothing to worry about since the intelligence assessment carried out by the National Police’s head of intelligence and security department has so far found that there are no public order disruptions [in Surabaya] related to any terror plot,” National Police spokesman Inspector General Ronny F. Sompie was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
Tourists have been targeted in multiple deadly terror attacks in Bali, including the 2002 bombing in the nightclub area in Kuta, which killed 202 people. Another major attack happened in 2005, when a series of bombs were detonated in Jimbaran Bay and Kuta, killing 20 people.
In October, a former key Jemaah Islamiyah militant-turned police collaborator, Nasir Abas, warned the Islamic State is planning an attack on the region as revenge for the U.S.-led airstrikes, according to News Limited.
"We continue to receive information that indicates that terrorists may be planning attacks in Indonesia, which could take place at any time," said a statement on the government's Smart Traveller website.
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