Indonesia’s president said Wednesday that bombings on tourist-packed restaurants in Bali were battering the country’s reputation and called on his military to stamp out terrorism in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
Investigators were analyzing bomb scraps — pellets, batteries, cables and detonators — found at the scene of Saturday’s triple suicide attacks in Bali and renewed calls for anyone who recognized grisly photographs of the three bombers to step forward.
Dozens of people have been questioned, almost all of them witnesses, but police said it was too early to say who masterminded the terrorist attack — Indonesia’s fourth in as many years.
“The terrorist acts have spoiled Indonesia’s reputation in the eyes of the world,” President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said as Muslims across the sprawling archipelago began celebrating the Islamic month of Ramadan.
The armed forces should “take a technical and strategic role in fighting and preventing future attacks,” he said without elaborating.
Southeast Asian nations have gone on high alert to prevent a repeat of the Saturday night bombings on the popular resort island of Bali that killed 22 people, putting hundreds of thousands of troops on standby, tightening security on beaches, and stepping up border security.
On Bali itself, shops put up shatterproof glass and some hotels were hiring one security guard for every 10 rooms. Police are on the streets and at the airport in force, and officials say searches and metal detector screenings will become even more common.
“Bags will be checked. Cars will be checked. This is an inconvenience, but it is for safety reasons,” Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Wacik said. “The world community has become more immune to bombs going off. London and Madrid recovered, and we will recover.”
No one has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s coordinated attacks that also wounded more than 100 people.
But suspicion immediately fell on the al-Qaida-linked terror group Jemaah Islamiyah — the same Islamic militants that allegedly orchestrated the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, and the 2003 and 2004 blasts at the J.W. Marriott hotel and the Australian Embassy that together killed 22.
Australia, which lost 88 citizens in the 2002 Bali bombings, warned Tuesday of further possible strikes on the island and again urged Jakarta to ban Jemaah Islamiyah.
“It is an underground movement. We can only ban an established organization,” said presidential spokesman Andi Malarangeng, adding that the government would continue to fight terrorism “under whatever name.”