A number of countries – notably Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain issued warnings on Wednesday, December 15, 2004, advising their nationals of the threat of an imminent terrorist attack somewhere in Indonesia.
Citing "credible intelligence," Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer warned Australians that large establishments – specifically naming the Hilton Hotel Chain in Indonesia as an example – might be a target of a terrorist attack.
Fearing that their foreigners might be targeted by an unspecified attack, the foreign offices of the three countries issued precautionary warnings recommending that non-essential travel to Indonesia be deferred and that those insistent on visiting the Country over the Christmas and New Years holidays understand that they are at "heightened risk" and act accordingly.
Qantas, Australian Airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Air Paradise International - the international airlines connecting Australia and Bali have each declared their individual policies on how they will handle cancellation penalties resulting from the new warnings ranging from no charge to charges of AU$275 per passenger. The Australian press have reported "surprisingly few" cancellations of planned Christmas and New Year's holidays in Bali following the warning.
Responding to the heightened warnings, many hotels in Bali, already operating at a high state of security readiness, have now increased their security details in the run up to the expected heavy influx of overseas visitors. Meanwhile, Bali police will be deployed at full-force at venues and areas frequented by foreign visitors.
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