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Downer knew of possible terror attacks on nightclubs.

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Bob Brown

Media Releases

20 June 2003

Downer Knew of Possible Terror Attacks on Nightclubs In briefings in July and August 2002 Foreign Minister Alexander Downer was told by the Office of National Assessment that Islamic extremist attacks, including bombs attacks, on Indonesian nightclubs were possible.

“At today’s Senate Committee hearings on the lead up to the Bali bombings, ONA offices confirmed that Mr Downer was given a report which said that terrorists in South-East Asia (including Indonesia) are capable and intent on further attacks,” Greens Senator Bob Brown said.

“On October 10 2002 Mr Downer was given a further report that said ‘key JI leaders, who have even bigger plans (than recent smaller attacks)…are still free’. These included Imam Samudra.

“ONA agreed with Senator Brown that the fact that three quarters of Australians in Indonesia were holidaying in Bali meant Bali had a concentration of vulnerable targets as far as Australia was concerned

“It does not take hindsight, in these circumstances, to see that Bali nightclubs were a particular and very vulnerable target for known terrorists with weapons and explosives intent on bombing. It is not acceptable for Mr Downer to fob off his failure to warn the public of this dangerous conjunction of circumstances because ‘no direct evidence’ of an attack was on the table,” Senator Brown said.

Further information: Ben Oquist 02 62773170 or 0419704095

Category: Senate Office

Author: Ben Oquist