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Indonesia warning from intercepts: Australia

By Staff
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Google Oneindia News

Canberra, July 9: An Australian warning of possible terrorist attacks in the final stages of planning in Indonesia was based on intercepted militant communications, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said today.

''We don't have any information designating a specific target or for that matter a specific time of a terrorist attack, but we have a constant flow of information about possible terrorist activity in Indonesia,'' Downer told Australian radio.

''There is constant (extremist) chatter,'' he said, adding that the arrest last month of top Jemaah Islamiah (JI) leader Abu Dujana had also lifted tensions.

In an upgraded travel advisory at the weekend, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said terrorists were actively planning attacks that could take place at any time, including on the holiday island of Bali.

Indonesian police said the security situation in the country at the moment was favourable.

Ansyaad Mbai, head of the anti-terror division of Indonesia's security ministry, said there was no increased terror threat in the country.

''It's a conversation from three months ago, after the capture of six suspects in Yogyakarta... It's standard talk, all of the captured terrorists say JI will continue the war,'' Mbai said.

''It doesn't mean Indonesia in particular is facing a higher risk of a terrorist threat,'' he told the sources.

A total of 92 Australians have been killed in attacks blamed on the Southeast Asia militant group Jemaah Islamiah in Bali between 2002 and 2005. In 2002, bombs ripped through two Bali nightclubs, killing 202 mostly foreign holidaymakers.

Prime Minister John Howard said the latest warning had not been issued lightly, especially given the warming relationship between Australian and Indonesia.

''We only give these warnings on strong intelligence. We act on the advice of our agencies,'' Howard told Australian television.

''We are the last country in the world to want to say anything unnecessarily serious about Indonesia.'' Australia is probing whether attempted bombings in London and Glasgow at the end of June could be linked to home after questioning at least six Indian doctors, one of whom remains in police custody.

Howard yesterday fast-tracked changes to immigration screening which match intelligence data with a person's travel and financial history to determine if they might be a security threat to Australia.

Australia has never suffered a terrorist attack on home soil.

Reuters

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