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Indonesia Tightens Aviation Security

Former Garuda Employee's Links to Terror Cell Prompts Tighter Security Procedures on Passengers, Crew and Cargo at Indonesia Airports.

(9/5/2009) The Department of Air Transportation is introducing closer scrutiny at all Indonesian airport to include not only passengers but also air crews and cargo loading as a response to the threat of terrorism.

Quoted in bisnis.com, the Minister of Transportation, Jusman Syafii Djamal, said: "Closer scrutiny will not only be made of passengers, but also crew and cargo. With closer guarding of cargo areas."

The added emphasis on security was announced after Indonesian police authorities revealed that a former mechanic employed by Garuda Indonesia, Muhammad Syahrir, had an affiliation with terrorist Noordin M. Top and is alleged to have been involved in the July bombing of two Jakarta hotels.

Syahrir is no longer employed by Garuda Indonesia.

In response, Jusman has dramatically increased security measures at all airports with support from the Indonesian Armed Forces and the National Police.

Previously, the chief spokesman from the National Police Headquarters, General Nanan Sukarna, said the police were still seeking four members of a terrorist network, including Muhammad Syahrir and Syaifuddin Zuhri, two brothers believed by authorities to have taken a role in the bombing of two Jakarta hotels in July 2009.

Muhammad Syahrir graduated from the aviation high school in Jakarta in 1988, working after graduation from Garuda Indonesia and a foreign airline.