Bali beefs up security amid threats

Soldiers standing guard at Bali's Ngurah Rai international airport on Jan 20.
Soldiers standing guard at Bali's Ngurah Rai international airport on Jan 20. PHOTO: EPA

Indonesian police have beefed up security in Bali, following threats purportedly from militants linked to the group that laid siege to Central Jakarta last Thursday, to carry out similar attacks on the resort island.

National Police spokesman Anton Charilyn on Tuesday confirmed that the Buleleng district office in Bali had received a letter with the threat on Monday.

"It explained that the same group that carried out the attacks (in downtown Jakarta) had reached Bali and would commit similar attacks in crowded places," he told The Jakarta Post. "We have sent a team there that is currently investigating the matter, and Bali has been ordered to increase its security and vigilance."

 

The police have also established that of the 13 arrested in the last one week since the attack, only six are said to have a direct involvement in the incident. It left eight people dead, including the four attackers, and over 25 injured.

Inspector General Anton said the six knew about the attack because one of the perpetrators had informed them. "They had received a letter that looked like a will," he said, adding that the letter detailed instructions for the six to take care of one of the attackers' wife, children and belongings.

The "will" was apparently sent to the six, whom police have yet to identify, by Dian Joni Kurniadi, who died when he detonated a bomb he was carrying, said Insp-Gen Anton. He added that while two of the six were found not to be directly involved, they did help by supplying goods.

Meanwhile, the government and the legislature have agreed to draw up new legal guidelines to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts.

These include granting the National Intelligence Agency the authority to make arrests and allowing the National Police to temporarily detain suspects for preventive and investigative purposes.

National Police chief Badrodin Haiti said he hopes the amendments will allow terror suspects to be held for at least one month. Current laws allow them to be held for only seven days for questioning.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2016, with the headline 'Bali beefs up security amid threats'. Print Edition | Subscribe