Foreigners Risk Kidnap: Indonesia
The Herald Sun ( Jakarta )12/21/05
Jakarta Indonesia has warned foreigners that militants in the country could be about to embark on a series of Iraq-style kidnappings over the holiday season.
Indonesia ‘s National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Syamsir Siregar issued the alert after news emerged last month that a website, purportedly set up under militant orders, gave instructions on how to shoot foreigners in the streets of Jakarta and throw grenades at motorists.
Mr Siregar warned another militant tactic could be kidnapping, possibly during the Christmas and New Year period.
“They have plans to change targets, like to kidnap people from a certain group,” he said, adding that foreigners or Indonesian officials would be likely be at risk.
Kidnapping would be a new development in attacks in Indonesia , which has seen sporadic bombings blamed on the al-Qaeda linked Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terror network.
JI has launched five deadly suicide bombings targeting Western interests since 2002.
More than 240 people have died, many of them foreigners and 92 of them Australian.
Australia and the United States recently issued warnings that foreigners could be targeted during the holiday season.
Security has been tightened across Indonesia ahead of the holiday period in a bid to prevent further attacks.
While Indonesia has been relatively calm in recent weeks, security analysts say the threat of militant attacks is still high because one of the alleged masterminds of previous bombings, Malaysian-born Noordin Top, is still on the loose.
Police last month killed another JI leader, Azahari Husin, in a shootout in East Java province.