Promises to Raise Security Standards
Aug 2003, 09:55 UTC
The Indonesian government
has promised to raise security standards to combat terrorism,
the day after a car bomb at a Jakarta hotel killed at least
10 people and injured more than one hundred. Police have not
said who they think is responsible for the attack, but suspicion
has fallen on Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) - a local terrorist group
with links to al-Qaeda.
Indonesia's top security
minister says it wants the Indonesian public to help in the effort
to combat terrorism.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Wednesday the government wants to impose
higher security requirements on office buildings and public spaces. "Firstly,
the intensification of the local security in public buildings, government
offices and all public facilities here in Indonesia," he says. "We
have to set up minimum standards to be fulfilled by the leaderships
of the companies and we will check as soon as possible if they meet
the standards or not."
He also says the government will work to improve its intelligence
agencies and security at immigration points to detect possible terrorist
The car bomb badly damaged the lower floors of the high-rise
J.W. Marriott hotel in central Jakarta Tuesday, blasting out windows,
and setting fires. It was the worst terrorist attack in Indonesia
since last October's bombing on the island of Bali, in which 202
Police say the Bali attack was the work of Jemaah Islamiyah, a regional
terrorist group with links to the al-Qaeda network. Authorities say
there are similarities between the Bali bomb and the hotel bomb -
but they have not yet blamed JI for the recent attack. At the site
of the blast Wednesday, Indonesian investigators assisted by Australian
Federal Police sorted through the debris.
Indonesian National Police Chief Da'i Bachtiar says whoever set off
the car bomb at the Marriott tried to conceal the serial number on
the car's engine block - a technique the Bali bombers used. In both
cases, however, the bombers failed - and police have already spoken
to a previous owner of the car used in the Marriot bombing.
Other police officials say they recovered documents from suspected
JI members last month that listed several possible bombing targets.
The Marriott was on the list, and police say they had increased patrols
around the hotel before the attack.
Suspicion has also fallen on JI because of the timing of the
blast. It came two days before the first verdict is to be handed
down in the trial of a Bali bomber - Amrozi bin Nurhaysim. Mr.
Amrozi faces the death penalty if convicted. He is one of four
alleged bombers now on trial.
Several suspects in the Bali case have said they intended to
kill foreigners. The Marriott is popular with foreign business
people and tourists.