Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Transcript of doorstop interview: Weipa: 5 August 2003 : Jakarta explosion.



Download PDFDownload PDF

PRIME MINISTER

5 August 2003

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP DOORSTOP INTERVIEW, WEIPA

Subjects: Jakarta explosion

E&OE…………………………………………………………………………………….

JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister, what’s your reaction to the bombing in Jakarta?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, I’m quite horrified at what appears to be a brutal terrorist attack. At this stage the death toll is cited to be around 10. It could be worse. It is a very popular hotel which is frequented by westerners including many Australians. At this stage I’ve not been told that there are any Australian casualties although that can’t be completely ruled out until further checks are made. If, as appears likely, it is another terrorist attack, it is yet another reminder that the fight against Jemaah Islamiyah and other groups goes on, and it will be a fight that will take years and it will require the cooperation of all of the agencies.

JOURNALIST:

Is that the initial intelligence that JI is behind this?

PRIME MINISTER:

No, I’m not saying that that is the initial intelligence. I’m simply making the comment that the fight against terrorist organisations will go on for a long time and Jemaah Islamiyah is a known terrorist organisation.

JOURNALIST:

Have you anything to suggest this may be a link to the Bali trial?

www.pm.gov.au

2

PRIME MINISTER:

I don't have any hard evidence to suggest that, people draw that conclusion because of the timing coincidence, but I don't have any evidence that it is, it may be. But I don't have any evidence to base that claim.

JOURNALIST:

There was a report that an American and Australian officials were meeting in the hotel at the time…

PRIME MINISTER:

I've not had that confirmed. I can confirm that we have been approached by the Indonesian police to send some police assistance. There are some Australian Federal Police in Jakarta, they are being made available and I've authorised the Federal Police Commissioner to make available any assistance that we properly can to the Indonesian authorities. We do have very close links with the Indonesian authorities, we will work very closely with the Indonesians, we will respond to any requests they make of us because we are partners together in this war against terrorism.

JOURNALIST:

… would have adequately been covered off by our travel advisories in recent weeks…

PRIME MINISTER:

There have been multiple travel advisories. We have been saying for months, often at the cost of being criticised by countries in the region, that it's dangerous to travel to some of these countries including Indonesia. Now you can't do more than that.

JOURNALIST:

Did we get any security indication to recent days that this sort of thing was possible?

PRIME MINISTER:

No, nothing beyond the ongoing consciousness and ongoing suggestion that a further terrorist attack is always possible. But we have certainly have had nothing to specifically suggest this kind of attack was going to occur.

[ends]