Issued by U.S. Department of State
Apr 10, 2003
This Travel Warning is being issued to remind U.S. citizens of the ongoing security threats in Indonesia. It also alerts U.S. citizens that the Department of State directed that, effective immediately, non-emergency employees of the U.S. Embassy will be allowed to return to Jakarta. However, family members will still not be able to accompany employees in Indonesia. This decision is based on the overall assessment of the security situation in the country. All U.S. citizens in Indonesia are urged to take into account the information contained in this Travel Warning. Other U.S. citizens should defer all travel to Indonesia. This supersedes the March 22, 2003, Travel Warning for Indonesia.
Bali, Indonesia, was the target of a major terrorist attack and the potential still remains for violence and terrorist actions against U.S. citizens and interests. The Jemaah Islamiya (JI) organization, designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, is an extremist group known to have cells operating in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia. JI is known to have connections with al-Qaeda. The terrorist attack in Bali, which took place in an area with a large number of foreign tourists, clearly indicates that a security threat situation extends to private American citizens. The U.S. Government believes extremist elements may be planning additional attacks targeting U.S. interests in Indonesia, particularly U.S. government officials and facilities. As security is increased at official U.S. facilities, terrorists will seek softer targets. These may include facilities where Americans are known to live, congregate, or visit, especially hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, or outdoor recreation events. A series of bombings over the past two and a half years has struck religious, political, and business targets throughout Indonesia. Avoid political demonstrations, which sometimes turn violent. In the border areas near Malaysia and the Philippines, there has been a risk of kidnappings by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.
Americans who travel to or reside in Indonesia despite this Travel Warning should keep a low profile, varying times and routes for all required travel, remaining acutely aware of their immediate environment. The U.S. Mission in Indonesia may suspend service to the public and/or close because of security concerns. In these situations, the Embassy and Consulate will continue to provide emergency services to American citizens via telephone.
There is a potential for violence and unrest; both can erupt with little forewarning. Threats, including the possibility of terrorist activity, exist in various parts of Indonesia, including Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Surabaya, as well as Kalimantan and Sulawesi. Sectarian/ethnic, communal (inter-intra group), and separatist strife and violence are ongoing threats to personal safety and security in various areas, including Kalimantan, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua, Sulawesi, West Timor and Aceh. Although a treaty was signed between Indonesia and Aceh separatists in December 2002, separatist violence continues.
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 read the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Indonesia, the Public Announcement for South East Asia, and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement. All 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.