The arrest in Pakistan of Umar Patek, an Indonesian national suspected of involvement in the planning and coordination of the 2002 Bali bombing, has prompted Australia to warn its nationals to reconsider travel to Indonesia, particularly Bali.
Fearing retaliatory attacks from terrorist elements, information posted on the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs website warned: " "Information in March 2011 indicates that terrorists may be planning attacks in Indonesia, which could take place at any time."
The warning did not mention if specific new information was received or if the caution was merely a generalized fear of retaliation to the arrest of the Indonesian man classed as one of the "most wanted" Islamic extremists in Southeast Asia on whose head a US$1 million bounty was offered by authorities.
Meanwhile, Indonesian police are reluctant to confirm the arrest of Patek, pending DNA and finger print verification. Police reluctance is no doubt tied to an earlier erroneous report that Patek had died in a 2006 in the Philippines.
While official verification may be lacking, international news reports are already confirming that Patek is providing anti-terrorist forces with valuable information on the international terrorism network.
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