Thursday, December 31, 2009

US Embassy Jakarta Issues Warden Message on Bali Warning

indonesia bali legong dancersImage by FriskoDude via Flickr

On December 31, 2009, the US Embassy in Jakarta issued the following Warden Message on Bali. Reprinted in part below:

The Bali Tourism Board widely distributed this message: “The Governor of Bali Mr. Mangku Pastika wishes to share a message with all of us: ‘There is an indication of an attack to Bali tonight,’ but please don’t panic, but put your security system to full alert.”  This message is shared verbatim for your information. The safety and security recommendations in our Consular Information Sheet, quoted below, remain valid.

“Indonesian police and security forces take active measures against both ongoing threats posed by terrorist cells, including Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), a U.S. government-designated terrorist organization that carried out several bombings at various times from 2002 to 2009 and outbreaks of violence elsewhere.  While Indonesia’s counterterrorism efforts have been ongoing and partly successful, violent elements have demonstrated a willingness and ability to carry out deadly attacks with little or no warning.  Most recently, in November 2009, unknown assailants shot at foreigners in Banda Aceh, North Sumatra, an area that was devastated by the 2004 tsunami and the scene of a long-running separatist conflict that ended in 2005.  The gunfire wounded a European development worker.  A house occupied by U.S. citizen teachers was targeted and hit by gunfire, but there were no U.S. citizen casualties.  In July 2009, attacks by armed assailants in Papua resulted in several deaths, including security personnel and one Australian national.  Also in July, suspected JI elements bombed two Western hotels in Jakarta, killing nine Indonesians and foreigners and injuring over 50, including six U.S. citizens.  U.S. citizens in Indonesia must be physically and mentally prepared to cope with future attacks even as they go about their normal daily routines.

Extremists may target both official and private interests, including hotels, clubs and shopping centers.  While it may be difficult to modify one’s behavior to counter risks in a country where places in which U.S. citizens and other Westerners must congregate to live and work are well known and few in number, it is also extremely necessary.  In their work and daily living activities, and while traveling, U.S. citizens should be vigilant and prudent at all times.  We urge U.S. citizens to monitor local news reports, vary their routes and times, and maintain a low profile.  U.S. citizens must consider the security and safety preparedness of hotels, residences, restaurants, and entertainment or recreation venues that they frequent.”

Americans living and traveling in Indonesia are urged to register and update their contact information with the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, U.S. Consulate Medan or U.S. Consular Agency in Bali.  Registration facilitates the U.S. Mission’s contact with Americans in emergency situations, and may be done on line and in advance of travel.  Information on registering can be found at the U.S. Department of State’s Consular Affairs website at and at the Embassy’s website at  All Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, Worldwide Cautions, and recent warden messages are posted on the Embassy website.

Read the whole thing here.

Note that Warden Messages are not easily visible on the main page of the US Embassy’s website.  When checking for updates, click on American Citizen Services, and select Notices to Americans. 


Wahya said...

Yaaa..we don't have to panic with this issue. Until now Bali is still safe :) Keep traveling to Bali

Eddy Supriadhi said...

United States is always paranoid, just ignore all of that information. web mobil bekas, siapapun bisa jual mobil bekas

diplopundit said...

@Wahya - Relieved that nothing happened there!

@Eddy - Actually, it's not that the US is paranoid. It's about obligation. The embassy has an obligation and duty to inform its citizen of possible threats. If they still decide to travel despite the warning, its up to them. The other part of course, is something called "no double standards." If the embassy advises the official embassy community of possible danger, it must also share that information with private Americans.

Thanks to both your comments. I'm still hoping to visit Bali one of these days! I have not gotten over my love-affair with batik.