US, Australian embassies in Jakarta receive bomb threats
The US and Australian embassies in Indonesia received bomb threats Tuesday ahead of the imminent execution of three Muslim militants convicted of taking part in the 2002 Bali bombings, police and media reports said.
The bomb threats were sent anonymously through a telephone text message to the police, said Heri Wibowo, spokesman for the central Jakarta city police, reported dpa.
Police have taken the bomb threats seriously although a similar threat against a shopping mall in Jakarta on Monday proved to be a hoax.
Initial searches of the embassy compounds failed to find any bombs.
"Nothing is found. The location is safe," the Kompas.com news website quoted police as saying.
The text message was received by the Traffic Management Centre at Jakarta city police headquarters, saying that the bomb will be detonated if Amrozi, one of the three Bali bombers awaiting execution, and his friends are executed.
"I have placed TNT bombs in the area of the US and the Australian embassies. I will pull the trigger (of the bomb) if Amrozi and his friends are executed," the message said, according to the detik.com online news portal.
Security was boosted across the predominantly Muslim nation, including at the US and the Australian embassies, due to fears about revenge attacks from militants after the execution of the three militants condemned to death for their roles in the 2002 attacks.
In an attempt to save them from imminent execution, lawyers representing the condemned militants on Monday filed another last-minute appeal to Bali's Denpasar district court.
Imam Samudra, Mukhlas, alias Ali Ghufron, and Amrozi, also known as the smiling assassin, face a firing squad for their roles in the bombings of two nightspots on the popular tourist Bali island that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.
The prisoners' families and lawyers were denied entry Monday to Nusakambangan Island, off the southern coast of central Java, where the prisoners are being held because they did not have permission from the attorney general's office.
Police cleared the port area of the island and strung barbed wire across entry points, while dozens of armed officers and hundreds of unarmed guards were posted at the docks, local media reports said.
No date has been announced for the executions, but latest developments, including the isolation of the three from other inmates, indicate that the executions are imminent.
Imam Samudra, Mukhlas and Amrozi were alleged members of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), a regional terrorist network responsible for several bombings across Indonesia in recent years.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International expressed deep disappointment by Indonesia's recent announcement that the Bali bombers will soon be executed, saying it represents a reversal of the global trend towards the abolition of the death penalty.
"While the Bali attacks were a horrific atrocity, Amnesty firmly believes that state-sanctioned killing will not bring redress for the victims, nor deter future criminal acts," Patrick Holmes, Amnesty's chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Amnesty called on Indonesia to commute all sentences of people awaiting execution, and to establish an "immediate moratorium against the death penalty," saying that the death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights and opposes it in all cases without exception.