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West warns of possible attacks in Indonesia - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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JAKARTA (Reuters) -The United States, Australia and Britain have issued fresh warnings about possible terrorist attacks in Indonesia after a militant Web site showed how and where to kill foreigners in Jakarta.

Australia warned travelers on Saturday that attacks could be staged against Western interests before the end of the year.

The Web site, called Anshar El Muslimin (www.anshar.net) and purportedly set up under orders from a key Asian militant, shows in diagrams how to shoot foreigners in Jakarta or throw grenades at motorists stuck in the city”s notorious traffic jams.

Police have called the Web site a &#34work of terror.&#34

&#34We continue to receive reports suggesting that terrorists are in the advanced stages of planning attacks against Western interests in Indonesia,&#34 Australia said on its Web site www.smartraveller.gov.au.

&#34Recent new information suggests that terrorists may be planning attacks to occur before the end of 2005.&#34

The militant Web site, written in Indonesian, has suggested assassinations could be staged in Jakarta”s Kuningan area on streets or pedestrian overpasses. The area includes the Australian Embassy, the Ambassador Mall and JW Marriott Hotel.

Islamic militants linked to al Qaeda launched suicide car bombs on the Marriott Hotel in 2003 and outside the Australian embassy last year. Those attacks killed 22 people combined.

The U.S. embassy in Jakarta in a message to Americans said the Web site indicated militants were changing tactics.

&#34In addition to past information which indicated that terrorists would target specific businesses or buildings, the new information shows that terrorists are likely now planning to attack Westerners riding in cars or walking on streets, sidewalks or pedestrian overpasses in Jakarta,&#34 it said.

&#34The embassy considers that the information on the Web site was developed by persons with serious terrorist intent.&#34 Great Britain issued a similar warning.

Indonesian police said the Web site was set up by one of three men named as suspects this week over the October 1 restaurant bombings on Bali that killed 20 people.

The man”s lawyer on Friday told Reuters his client had been approached several months ago by several people including Malaysia”s Noordin M. Top, a senior figure in Jemaah Islamiah, a shadowy group seen as the regional arm of al Qaeda, to set up the Web site.

The U.S. State Department warned Americans to put off unnecessary travel to Indonesia.

Information obtained in a November 9 raid in which Indonesian police killed Jemaah Islamiah”s master bombmaker Azahari bin Husin also showed affiliated groups were in the advanced stages of planning attacks against Westerners in Indonesia, it said.

In the raid, police discovered 35 bombs prepared and ready to use in attacks in addition to a videotaped threat from a hooded individual — believed to be Top — who threatened attacks against Americans, Australians, British and Italians.

Jemaah Islamiah has carried out a number of car bombings against Western targets in Indonesia in recent years, but there have been no shootings of foreigners on the streets, a practice seen in parts of the Middle East.

Police have been hunting Azahari and Top since the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

Both men have been blamed for playing key roles in all major bombings in Indonesia in recent years.

While Malaysian Azahari was Jemaah Islamiah”s bombmaker, police say Top is an expert in recruiting suicide bombers.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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