The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, issued a statement
on Thursday, December 31, that mentions the risk of a possible terrorist attack tonight in Bali. The statement said, “The Governor of Bali, Mr. Mangku Pastika, wishes to share a message with all of us: ‘There is an indication of an attack to Bali tonight,’ but please don’t panic, but put your security system to full alert.” The Embassy said it was sharing the message from the Governor, "verbatim."
The Embassy statement included
general guidance to Americans that, "extremists may target both official and private interests, including hotels, clubs and shopping centers." It goes on to say that,
we urge U.S. citizens to monitor local news reports, vary their routes and times, and maintain a low profile. U.S. citizens must consider the security and safety preparedness of hotels, residences, restaurants, and entertainment or recreation venues that they frequent.
Several terrorist bombings have targeted Westerners in Bali over the last several years.
The statement from the U.S. Embassy has caused some confusion however, and CNN International reports
that the Bali Governor's office said they "never released any warning related to terror on New Year's Eve." CNN quotes
Putu Suardika, head of public relations for the Bali governor, as denying any such statement was made either, "in writing or verbally." He did say that because of the bomb attacks in the past, tourists should remain "on alert."
The BBC reports
that Jakarta analysts, "independent of the diplomatic corps," believe the threat warning to be unclear. Additionally, they say that embassies "routinely" issue similar warnings where large numbers of Westerners will gather at certain times of the year.