Australia Upgrades Travel Advisory For Indonesia

The Australian Government has warned its nationals against traveling to Indonesia’s terrorism-infested province of Aceh.

In a travel advisory issued on Friday for Indonesia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trades (DFAT) advised Australians visiting the volatile region to be extremely careful because the security situation there remains “unsettled.”

Indonesian police last month raided a terrorist training facility in the province and are continuing to search for suspects.

The update comes in the wake of public alert by local police based on intelligence output that a number of suspected terrorists, who remain on the loose, may attack international targets in Aceh.

Security for foreign organizations in Banda Aceh has been stepped up. Travelers are discouraged from traveling at night and through subways.

DFAT advises visit to Indonesia only if unavoidable. It also warns of the continued possibility of terrorist attacks elsewhere in the country, including Jakarta and Bali.

It clearly states that “you may be caught up in a terrorist attack.”

Three Australians were among the nine people killed in twin suicide-bomb blasts at luxury hotels in the Indonesian capital Jakarta last July.

The attacks targeting Western hotels and foreign nationals bore the hallmarks of Jemaah Islamiah, a Southeast Asian Muslim militant group.

The attack occurred at a time Indonesia was picking up as investor-friendly market with the re-election of reformist Yudhoyono and the prospect of economic growth.