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Indonesia Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Apr 28, 2003

This Travel Warning is being issued to inform U.S. citizens that the Department of State is allowing the return of staff and family members to the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta and the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya. This Travel Warning is also being issued to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security threats in Indonesia. Although the Department of State has allowed the return of staff and family members, other U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to Indonesia. This supersedes the April 10, 2003, Travel Warning for Indonesia.

Bali, Indonesia, was the target of a major terrorist attack in October 2002, and the potential remains for violence and terrorist actions against U.S. citizens and interests. The Jemaah Islamiyah (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 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. Americans should avoid political demonstrations, which have the potential to 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, 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; from overseas, call 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 on the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs' web site, http://travel.state.gov.

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