The U.S. embassy in Jakarta joined Australia on Friday in warning of a possible attack against Westerners in Indonesia this Sunday.
“Terrorists continue to plan attacks against Westerners and Western interests in Indonesia,” the embassy said in a statement e-mailed to Americans in Indonesia, adding: “Recent reports suggest that Sunday April 2, 2006 could be one potential date for an attack.”
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade had issued a similar warning earlier on its Web site www.smartraveller.gov.au, talking of a possibility of an attack against Westerners on Sunday.
In wording virtually identical to Australia’s, the U.S. embassy advisory added that attacks can occur at any time, anywhere in Indonesia.
It also repeated previous cautions that any place where “Americans and other Westerners live, congregate, shop or visit” could be potential targets, but that attacks would not necessarily be limited to such spots.
Canberra had told Australians to reconsider travel to Indonesia and the holiday island of Bali, saying Westerners were priority targets for attacks and kidnappings.
“We continue to receive a stream of reporting indicating that terrorists are in the advanced stages of planning attacks against Western interests in Indonesia against a range of targets,” it said.
The 2002 nightclub bombings in Bali killed 202 people, including 88 Australians. In October 2005, 20 people, including four Australians, were killed in a new spate of bombings in Bali.
The Australian embassy and a U.S.-owned luxury hotel in Jakarta have also been bombing targets, and Indonesian and foreign authorities in recent months have suggested violent groups could change tactics to aim at individual government officials and Westerners.
“Reports suggest attacks could include targeting individual American citizens,” the U.S. embassy statement said.
Police and intelligence officials have blamed the attacks on militant Muslims with ties to Jemaah Islamiyah, an al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian Islamic network.