US State Dept: Malaysia 'at risk' of Bali-style attack
Thursday, November 21, 2002 Posted: 12:23 PM HKT (0423 GMT)
Malaysia 'at risk' of Bali-style attack
Malaysian authorities have arrested dozens of JI members
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. State Department says it is concerned Malaysia and other Southeast Asian nations may be hit by terrorist attacks similar to the nightclub bombings in Bali last month that killed more than 180 people.
The comment was made by the State Department Wednesday, in a statement which also warned of "possible heightened risks to American citizens and American interests" in Malaysia, particularly in the eastern state of Sabah.
Since mid-2001 Malaysian authorities have apprehended over 70 members of the extremist Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) group, designated as a terrorist organization by Washington in October and with links to the al Qaeda terror network.
The statement said JI has cells operating throughout Southeast Asia adding that the group and other extremist organizations present in the region "have demonstrated transnational capabilities to carry out attacks against locations where Westerners congregate."
"Terrorist groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets," the statement said.
Thursday, November 21, 2002
Malaysia dismisses US warning of terror strikes
Update from The Star News Desk
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has dismissed the travel advisory issued by the United States warning attacks similar to last month’s Bali bombing could take place in other Southeast Asian nations including Malaysia.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said here Thursday the US warning was not new as several Western governments had been issuing similar travel advisories since the Sept 11 attack last year.
“In fact, there have been reports of alleged terrorists and Al-Qaeda members being arrested all over the world including Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.
He said Malaysia wanted to emphasise that no country in the world was safe from attacks by demented terrorists who justified their actions on ideological, religious or ethnic grounds.
“As far as Malaysia is concerned, we are determined to continue taking all the necessary security measures to ensure Malaysia remains safe,’’ he said.
November 21 , 2002 23:54PM
Tell Us What You Know, Says Mahathir
PUTRAJAYA, Nov 21 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad Thursday night criticised a United States warning that Malaysia could be hit by Bali-style attacks, saying this is how the US is "paying" Malaysia back despite the cooperation extended by Kuala Lumpur to Washington in the fight against terrorism.
While expressing his disappointment over the matter, the prime minister urged US authorities to provide the Malaysian government with any information pertaining to possible terrorist threats to this country.
"They should tell us who, where, when so that we can take action to prevent it (any terrorist act) from happening," he told reporters after breaking fast with Finance Ministry staff here.
When asked whether American authorities were in communication with the government over the matter, Dr Mahathir, who is also Finance Minister, said: "No, not as far as I know."
The prime minister also wanted to know whether the US was prepared to take a bet on warnings of possible terrorist acts on Malaysian soil.
"If it does not happen, what are they going to do?
"They are damaging our economy by making baseless claims," he said.
Asked whether the warning was an intention to sabotage the Malaysian economy, Dr Mahathir said: "That I don't know, but the fact is it is happening."
"They (the Americans themselves) are not free from terrorism, you see. They shouldn't be passing this kind of judgment on other people," he added. -- BERNAMA
November 21 , 2002 22:25PM
Bukit Aman Seeks US Explanation On Bomb Attacks In M'sia
KUALA LUMPUR, 21 Nov (Bernama) -- Bukit Aman will get in touch with the State Department of the United States (US) through its embassy here to provide detailed information on the claims of bombing threats in Sabah.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Norian Mai said police had not received information of a potential attack in this country like the one in Bali which killed 180 people last month.