Security tight ahead of Bali bombing executions

By: NINIEK KARMINI - AP
By: NINIEK KARMINI - AP
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Police tightened security across Indonesia on Friday as authorities braced for potential terrorist attacks ahead of the executions of three Islamic militants convicted in the 2002 Bali bombings that left 202 people dead.

** FILE ** In this Sept. 9, 2003 file photo, Imam Samudra, key suspect in the 2002 terrorist bombings on Bali island, gestures as he shouts "Go to hell Australia" at a local police headquarters in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Samudra, who is awaiting execution, has warned that al-Qaida would be "very likely" to launch revenge attacks if authorities kill him, a magazine reported in June 2006. (AP Photo/Divo Aditya)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Police tightened security across Indonesia on Friday as authorities braced for potential terrorist attacks ahead of the executions of three Islamic militants convicted in the 2002 Bali bombings that left 202 people dead.

Tourist destinations, vital installations and Western oil companies were under heavy guard, national police spokesman Abubakar Nataprawira said.

The government has said the three men sentenced to death five years ago for planning and helping carry out the Oct. 12, 2002, twin nightclub attacks will go before a firing squad within days.

Imam Samudra, Amrozi Nurhasyim, and Ali Ghufron have shown no remorse for the bombings and have publicly expressed hope that their executions would trigger revenge attacks in the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Most analysts say the reaction will likely be small and limited to a show of solidarity at the men's funerals.

But police were not taking any chances, Nataprawira said.

"We're on alert for potential terrorist attacks," he said.

In addition to beefed-up security elsewhere in the country, 1,000 police have been sent to Cilacap, the town nearest the prison island of Nusakambangan, where the three men are being held, Nataprawira said.

Those forces include members of an elite mobile brigade and anti-terrorism unit.

The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta issued a warning Friday that Western interests could be targeted and urged American citizens to exercise caution. It also cautioned Americans to stay away from any demonstrations because even those "intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and violent."

The Bali attacks — allegedly funded by al-Qaida — were carried out by members and associates of Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian militant group blamed for at least three other suicide bombings in Indonesia since then.

The last bombings occurred in 2005, killing 21 people in multiple blasts in Bali cafes and restaurants.

Samudra, Nurhasyim, and Ghufron say they carried out the Bali bombings to avenge the deaths of Muslims in the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of the victims in the twin blasts were foreign tourists, including 88 from Australia.


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