Security tight ahead of Bali bombing executions
By NINIEK KARMINI,Associated Press Writer AP - Sunday, November 2
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Police maintained tight security across Indonesia on Saturday as authorities braced for possible terrorist attacks ahead of the executions of three Islamic militants convicted in the 2002 Bali bombings that left 202 people dead.
Tourist destinations, foreign embassies, and Western oil companies were under heavy guard after the government said the men could face a firing squad within days, national police spokesman Abubakar Nataprawira said.
Imam Samudra, Amrozi Nurhasyim and Ali Ghufron have shown no remorse for the Oct. 12, 2002, twin nightclub bombings and have publicly expressed hope 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 Nataprawira said police were not taking any chances.
"We're on alert for potential terrorist attacks," he said.
The stepped-up security comes days after authorities defused two bombs in a housing complex on Sulawesi island that they feared may have been linked to the planned executions.
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 Americans to exercise caution. It also warned citizens to stay away from demonstrations, saying even those "intended to be peaceful" could turn violent.
Samudra, Nurhasyim and Ghufron were sentenced to death five years ago for helping plan and carry out the 2002 bombings on the Hindu-majority island of Bali that killed mostly foreign tourists. Eighty-eight of the victims were Australian.
The men said the attacks _ allegedly funded by al-Qaida and carried out by members of the Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiyah _ were to avenge the deaths of Muslims in the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Though they've exhausted their appeals, they have, until now, refused their right to file a judicial review. Their lawyer, Qadar Faisal, said Saturday that their families still intended to do so, but Attorney General spokesman Jasman Panjaitan said it was too late.
Attorney General Hendarman Supandji earlier said the execution would be carried out anytime before Nov. 15.
Jemaah Islamiyah has been blamed for at least three other suicide bombings in Indonesia since the 2002 nightclub attacks. The last one in 2005 targeted three cafes and restaurants on Bali, killing 21.
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