AUSTRALIA: POLICE SAY CAR BOMB ATTACK AT AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY BEARS HALLMARKS OF AN AL QUAEDA LINKED MALAYSIAN...
- Title: AUSTRALIA: POLICE SAY CAR BOMB ATTACK AT AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY BEARS HALLMARKS OF AN AL QUAEDA LINKED MALAYSIAN TERROR SUSPECT
- Date: 9th September 2004
- Summary: (U3) JAKARTA, INDONESIA (SEPTEMBER 9, 2004) (REUTERS) SLV INDONESIA VICE PRESIDENT HAMZAH HAZ AND OFFICIALS WALKING TOWARDS HOSPITAL TO VISIT THE VICTIMS MCU (English) INDONESIA FOREIGN MINISTER HASSAN WIRAJUDA SAYING: "This once again shows that terrorism is our enemy, and we should make our people aware that we still have the problem of this nature and for that matter we should work together government and the people to combat terrorism."
- Reuters ID: LVA6J1W17RPBLHKK3ARRXGMB9YJ
- Location: JAKARTA, INDONESIA; MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
- Country: Australia Indonesia
- Duration: 00:00:33
- Topics: Crime,General
- Story Text: Police say car bomb attack at Australian embassy bears hallmarks of an
al Qaeda linked Malaysian terror suspect.
Indonesia's police said the car bomb attack outside the Australian
embassy in Jakarta on Thursday (September 9, 2004) bears the hallmarks of a
Malaysian terror suspect who is a senior figure inside an al Qaeda-linked
National Police Chief General Da'i Bachtiar said the attack was similar
to car bomb blasts outside the Marriott Hotel last year and also in Bali in
"Today's bomb blast has several similarities with past bombings in
Bali, on 12 October 2002 and the next Marriott hotel blast the very next year
on August 5," Bachtiar told a news conference after an emergency security
Police have accused Malaysian Azahari Husin as being the key figure
behind the construction of those bombs.
Azahari is a senior figure inside the Southeast Asian militant Islamic
group Jemaah Islamiah, which has been blamed for actual and planned attacks
throughout the region.
"From the same group of people, whose testimonies after their
arrests revealed that they were recruiting new members and launching new
attacks. Thus, we have explained in many occasions that there are imminent
threats from Dr. Azahari's and Noor Din M. Top's group," Bachtiar said,
referring to Azahari's sidekick.
Health officials said nine people had been killed and 173 wounded.
"The death toll has reached seven people, with two more others in
the forms of body parts which are kept for further study by the police,"
Health Minister Achmad Sujudi announced.
Meanwhile, Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer arrived late
on Thursday (September 9) in Jakarta to assess the situation and express
condolences to the victims' families.
"We're here to express our compassion to the Indonesian families
who have lost their loved ones in this attack on the Australian embassy this
brutal, cruel and callus attack has left the deaths of a number of
Indonesians. We're here to consult with the Indonesian government with the
President and Foreign Minister with the chief of police with other senior
officials in the indonesian government during the course of tomorrow,"
Downer told journalists upon his arrival at a Jakarta hotel.
The Jakarta blast came just hours after Australian police said they
were beefing up counter-terrorism security before the country's election next
Australia has never been hit by a major terror attack on its soil but
88 Australians were among 202 people killed in Bali nightclub bombings.
"Who did it? Well, indications at this stage from the Indonesian
police are that it is likely been conducted by the same people who committed
the Bali and the Marriot atrocities. So people associate it with Jemaah
Islamiah as it's called. But as yet we don't know for sure and we don't know
for sure what their motives were," said Downer.
Australia's Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty, who was
accompanying Downer on the trip, praised Indonesia's efforts in the fight
against terror and said the Australian government will work closely with the
"Azahari and Noordin Top, they are not the only terrorists in the
world who have been unable to captured by all the forces that have joined
together to try and catch them whether they have been in that part of the
world or this part of the world."
"But you have to remember that over 41 arrests of key JI figures
have been made since the Bali bombings and the Marriott bombing. These are
very significant people who have been arrested. So the work of the Indonesian
National Police has not stopped since the Bali bombings and it won't stop. And
in the words of General Da'i Bachtiar today we won't stop until we find the
people responsible for the bombing today," Keelty said.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said his government would not be
intimidated by the bomb which comes ahead of an October 9 election and two
days before the third anniversary of the September 11 hijacked aircraft
attacks on the United States.
"All of the Australian staff have been accounted for and safe,
except a few minor injuries. There are a handful of locally engaged staff who
have not yet been accounted for but it may well be that they were in other
parts of the city when the explosion occurred. There have been a number of
fatalities, the ambassador expressed the view to me when I spoke to him about
an hour ago, that there would have a number of fatalities," he said.
Indonesia is also facing presidential elections this month and
Indonesian police have warned of threats, including bomb attacks, related to
Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Hassan Wirajuda, condemned the deadly
bomb blast saying it would continues its fight against terrorism. A spokesman
at the ministry said since all those who had been killed were Indonesians, it
should not be seen as an attack purely meant for Australians.
"This once again shows that terrorism is our enemy, and we should
make our people aware that we still have the problem of this nature and for
that matter we should work together government and the people to combat
terrorism," Indonesian FM Wirajuda said.
Australians were warned to defer all non-essential travel to Indonesia
and those already there were told by Australia's foreign office to consider
leaving if they were concerned for their safety.
Jemaah Islamiah, blamed for previous blasts in Indonesia such as the
Bali bomb attacks in 2002, purportedly claimed responsibility for the embassy
attack in an Internet statement on Thursday that could not immediately be
verified, and warned of more unless Australia withdrew forces from Iraq.
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