On the afternoon of Wednesday, August 31, 2005, police evacuated the Kuta Paradiso Hotel after a suspicious object was discovered in a hand bag left in a 4th floor elevator lobby of the hotel. Guests were evacuated from the hotel while bomb squad officers removed a device containing a timing device, batteries, charcoal powder – but apparently containing no explosive materials.
While police continue to investigate the incident, many are concluding that the "discovery" of the material was meant to cause terror rather than injuries, a fact leading some to question whether the incident is linked to past terrorist attacks or a case of commercial extortion.
Whatever the motivation, the discovery has caused police and hotel operators across Bali to increase their vigilance against acts of terror with police conducting sweeps of malls, hotels and other public areas. Meanwhile, the Bali Hotel Association has responded by re-issuing security guidelines to its members. [ See: Bali Hotel Association Issues Security Assurance ].
Both President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Bali's Police Chief Irjen. Made Mangku Pastika have called on the public to increase their security awareness, particularly during the months of September and October which mark the anniversaries of the 9-11 attacks in New York, the October 12, 2002 bombing of several Bali night spots, and the September 2004 bombing outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.
Following the "hoax" bombing incident, business activity quickly returned to normal at the Kuta Paradiso Hotel with no discernable rush of guests wishing to check out of the hotel or cancel their reservations.
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