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Indonesia Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Mar 24, 2003

This Travel Warning is being issued to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security issues in Indonesia. All U.S. citizens in Indonesia are urged to take into account the information contained in this Travel Warning when evaluating their security posture, and consider departing the country. As a result of the military action in Iraq, Indonesia's frequent political demonstrations may escalate, increasing the potential for anti-American violence and for terrorist actions against U.S. citizens and interests. United States citizens are reminded that, on October 12, 2002, the Department of State ordered all family members and non-emergency personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta and at the Consulate General in Surabaya to depart Indonesia. This supercedes the October 19, 2002 Travel Warning for Indonesia. This Travel Warning will be reviewed in three weeks time to take into account latest global developments.

The Department of State warns American citizens to defer all travel to Indonesia. On October 23, 2002, the U.S. Government designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) organization, an extremist group known to have cells operating throughout Southeast Asia, including Indonesia. The October 2002 bombing of two nightclubs in Bali, Indonesia, the attack near the U.S. Consular Agency in Bali, along with the high-threat security situation within Indonesia indicate that U.S. citizens and interests are at risk. The attack in Bali, which took place in an area with a large number of foreign tourists, clearly indicates that this threat also extends to private American citizens. The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta has received credible information that extremist elements may be planning additional attacks targeting U.S. interests in Indonesia, particularly U.S. government officials and facilities. A failed grenade attack on September 23, 2002 in a residential neighborhood where the U.S. Embassy owns property resulted in the death of one of the attackers. Although no Americans were injured, the Embassy is deeply concerned about the incident and is working closely with the Indonesian national police to determine the attackers' motive. A series of bombings over the past two years has struck religious, political, and business targets throughout Indonesia. As security is increased at official U.S. facilities, terrorists and their sympathizers will seek softer targets. These may include facilities where Americans are generally known to live, congregate, or visit, such as hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, or outdoor recreation events. Americans should keep a low profile, varying times and routes for all required travel, remaining acutely aware of their immediate environment, and notifying the U.S. Embassy or nearest Consulate in case of any change in the local security situation. Americans are advised to avoid political demonstrations, which can quickly turn violent. Occasionally, the U.S. Mission in Indonesia may suspend service to the public and/or close because of security concerns. When experiencing these situations, the Embassy and Consulate will continue to provide emergency services to American citizens via telephone.

Social unrest and violence can erupt with little forewarning anywhere in the country. In Central/West Kalimantan, sectarian /ethnic strife exists. In North Kalimantan, a potential risk is the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group's practice of kidnapping American citizens in the border regions near Malaysia and the Philippines. East Kalimantan has ongoing terrorist activity, which may not be confined to this area. In response to sectarian/ethnic strife in Maluku and North Maluku (formerly the Moluccas), the Indonesian government imposed emergency rule, severely restricting travel by requiring travel permits. Papua (formerly Irian Jaya) has separatist violence. On August 31, 2002, an ambush in Papua resulted in the deaths of two Americans and wounded eight other Americans. In Central and South Sulawesi, the risk of violence and sectarian/ethnic strife exist. In North Sulawesi, and the border areas are risky because of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group's practice of kidnapping Americans in the extreme southwest Philippines, near Indonesia. West Timor's communal tensions have contributed to unsafe conditions.

Updated information on travel and security in Indonesia may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and from overseas, 1-317-472-2328. The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta can be contacted by phone at (62)(21) 3435-9000, the Consulate General in Surabaya's number is (62) (31) 568-2287, and the Consular Agency in Bali's number is (62) (361) 233-605. U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Indonesia, and Public Announcement for South East Asia. Both are available at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad and through the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs' Internet web site, http://travel.state.gov.

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