Indonesia Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Sep 02, 2003
This Travel Warning is being issued to update security threat information
for Indonesia. The August 5, 2003, bombing at the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta
reminds U.S. citizens of ongoing terrorist threats in Indonesia. The
Department of State continues to recommend that U.S. citizens defer all
non-essential travel to Indonesia. This supersedes the August 8, 2003,
Travel Warning for Indonesia.
The potential remains throughout Indonesia for violence and terrorist
actions against U.S. citizens and interests; the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta
on August 5, 2003 and a tourist area of Bali on October 12, 2002, were the
scenes of major terrorist attacks. U.S. citizens were injured or killed in
both of these incidents. The Jemaah Islamiyah organization, designated as a
Foreign Terrorist Organization, is an extremist group known to have cells
operating in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, and is known to have
connections with Al-Qaeda. The terrorist attacks in Jakarta and Bali, which
took place in areas with large numbers of foreign tourists, clearly indicate
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 and Westerners are known to live, congregate,
shop, or visit, especially hotels, clubs, restaurants, shopping centers,
housing compounds, transportation systems, places of worship, schools, or
outdoor recreation events. Throughout Indonesia, bombings have been an
ongoing problem over the past two and a half years and have struck
religious, political, and business targets. In April 2003, the Jakarta
international airport was bombed. Americans should avoid political
demonstrations, which have the potential to turn violent.
On May 19, 2003, the Indonesian government declared martial law in Aceh and
launched significant military operations in response to the ongoing
separatist conflict between the Indonesian military and the Free Aceh
Movement (GAM). The Indonesian government has warned all foreigners to
leave Aceh and gave notice that this conflict could result in terrorist
attacks throughout Indonesia, particularly in urban areas where security
forces are on a higher state of alert. Because of the hostilities, at least
one foreigner was killed and one wounded by security forces. American
citizens are strongly urged to avoid traveling to Aceh, and those already
present should leave immediately.
There is a risk of kidnappings by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the
border areas of Indonesia near Malaysia and the Philippines. The Abu Sayyaf
has previously carried out kidnappings in Malaysia and the Philippines, and
the group has the operational capability to do so in Indonesia, also.
In addition to terrorism, there is potential for violence and unrest; both
can erupt without warning. Sectarian, ethnic, communal (inter-intra group)
and separatist strife, and violence are ongoing threats to personal safety
and security in various areas, including Maluku, North Maluku, Sulawesi,
Papua and West Timor. Papua's separatist conflict can become violent. In
August 2002, two U.S. citizens were killed near Timika in circumstances that
have raised suspicions of official involvement.
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 occasionally 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.
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)
U.S. citizens should also read the Department of State's Consular
Information Sheet for Indonesia and the Worldwide Caution Public
Announcement. All are available on the Department of State, Bureau of
Consular Affairs, website, http://travel.state.gov.