Indonesia Travel Warning
Issued by U.S. State Department
Aug 10, 2001
The Department of State urges American citizens to defer nonessential travel to Indonesia and all travel to Aceh, Maluku, Papua, West Timor, Central and West Kalimantan (Borneo) and Central Sulawesi. Those who must travel to Indonesia, or who are resident there, should exercise extreme caution.
The U. S. Government has received information that indicates extremist elements may be planning to target U.S. interests in Indonesia, particularly U.S. Government facilities, and could also extend to U.S. tourists and tour groups. In addition, social unrest and violence can erupt with little forewarning anywhere in the country. Bombings of religious, political and business targets have occurred throughout the country.
In light of this threat to U.S. interests, all American citizens in Indonesia, including tourists and hotel guests, should take precautions to ensure their safety. American citizens are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to reduce their vulnerability. Americans in Indonesia should maintain a low profile, vary routes and times for all required travel, and treat mail and packages from unfamiliar sources with suspicion.
Due to the continuing threat of serious violence, all travel should be avoided to the regions of Aceh, Maluku, West Timor, Central and West Kalimantan and Central Sulawesi. Further, all travel by U.S. and other foreign government officials to Aceh, Papua and the Moluccas (provinces of North Maluku and Maluku) has been restricted by the Indonesian government because of security concerns. Private Americans should adhere to these same restrictions.
A massive bombing campaign struck churches throughout Indonesia on Christmas Eve 2000, leaving at least 16 dead and over one hundred injured. Bombings occurred in the cities of Medan, Pekanbaru, Batam, Bandung, Sukabumi, Bekasi, Jakarta, Mojokerto, Surabaya and Mataram. Bombings have also occurred over the past year at Indonesian government buildings, foreign diplomatic facilities and business and financial centers, including the Jakarta Stock Exchange. More explosive devices have been discovered in Jakarta since Christmas and there are indications that the bombings may continue.
On occasion, the U.S. mission in Indonesia may have to suspend services to the public or close because of security concerns. In those situations, the Embassy will continue to be available by telephone to offer emergency services to American citizens.
Some foreign travelers in troubled areas of Indonesia have been subject to arbitrary arrest, detention and deportation and, on at least one occasion, false accusations of espionage. In November 2000 in the central Java city of Solo, groups opposed to U.S. policy undertook or threatened "sweeps," trying to identify American citizens and order them to depart the country. There also have been a number of acts of intimidation and violence directed at American companies and U.S. diplomatic facilities. Indonesian security officials have sometimes been unwilling or unable to respond.
The Abu Sayyaf terrorist group has been active throughout the islands in the extreme southwest Philippines, near Indonesia, and have kidnapped American citizens in the Philippines. American citizens traveling to the border regions in Northern Kalimantan and North Sulawesi, in particular the smaller islands closer to the Philippines, are urged to review their security procedures.
American citizens resident or traveling in Indonesia are advised to exercise caution at all times, be alert to suspicious or unclaimed packages, vary times and routes and other aspects of personal daily routine and keep a low profile. Updated information on travel and security in Indonesia may be obtained from the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta by calling tel. (62)(21)3435-9000, or the Consulate General in Surabaya by calling tel. (62)(31) 567-2287/8.
For further information, U.S. citizens planning to visit or reside in Indonesia are advised to consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Indonesia. The Consular Information Sheet is available at any U.S. embassy or consulate abroad and through the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet home page at http://travel.state.gov.
This Travel Warning replaces the June 27, 2001 Travel Warning for Indonesia to advise U.S. citizens of a threat to U.S. interests from extremist elements. Information concerning East Timor is contained in a separate Public Announcement.