Fugly Bali
Please make sure your holiday does not go off with a bang.
Don't believe what the Balinese / Indonesians tell (sell) you about terrorist risks.
"Bali is safe" they say - but we believe you will be horrified at the truth.

Terrorist - Osama Bin Laden"But nowhere is safe any more!"
True, to an extent. But what makes Bali particularly unsafe still is;
a) The lack of real security (due to lazy and corrupt police officers),
b) The fact that Jemaah Islamiah (JI) is growing in size and expertise courtesy of its involvement in the Philippines,
c) The fact Bali is very accessible to the terrorists who mainly come from Eastern and Central Java,
d) The fact that it seems some elements within the military and police actually support JI,
e) The fact the law courts have decided the laws used to convict the bombers are illegal and at the same time have not applied the previous murder laws to convict them. Which clearly condones and supports their murderous actions in October 2002 in Bali, and encourages the Al Qaeda backed terrorists to commit yet further atrocities.

Hambali of Jemaah Islamiah"Bali is probably safer then Australia / England / New York"
No, Bali really is not safe at all. It is a recorded fact that the Indonesian police are ineffective, that explosives are known to be in the hands of the terrorists still, and that Bali nearly suffered a second bombing had it not been for the efforts and diligence of the Australian special police force that went to Bali, but sadly are no longer there to protect us. The real problems are that the Indonesian authorities are still perceived and may actually, to some degree at certain levels and by certain people, support the terrorists. And that police officers are so lazy and corrupt, they would not be able to stop another bombing. It is a fact, Balinese police officers on anti-terrorist duty at Bali's ferry ports have been known to take 20,000 rp (around US$2.35) to waive a coach through without inspection.

Jemaah IslamiahSo please, trust the facts not the yarn, Bali is not as safe as other countries. We make no apology for suggesting you remind yourself of what October 2002 looked like / meant (images are not suitable for the easily distressed or children), click the link Bali Bombing to remind yourselves. With this in mind, here are just some of the areas / probable main terrorist targets and why, so you are aware of and can maybe even avoid them.

Bashir Abu Bakar of JIBali International Airport / Airplanes
At the Eastern end of the runway is marshland frequented often and easily by fly-tippers (people dumping waste illegally). If fly tippers can get beneath a large passenger jet which has just taken off fully laden with fuel, so can a terrorist with a shoulder fired Stinger surface to air missile. It would be an easy matter for an accomplice to radio the one firing the missile to tell them what the next aircraft was. American made Stinger anti-aircraft missiles are known to have left Afghanistan before the fall of the Taliban. They were used in Kenya against a jet liner, but missed. In Kenya, the terrorists had to fire from further away then they would in Bali. In Bali, they can get right under the flight path of the aircraft. The police know about this, but have not sealed the area off.

Large Western Branded Hotels
It is clear the terrorist JI group like to target anything that identifies with western youth, western culture and western business. After the Bali Bombing came the bombing of the Jakarta Marriott Hotel, despite the hotel and police being advised of a heightened security risk / impending attack. Even the high security Australian Embassy in Jakarta has been bombed in September 2004. It is therefore frivolous to believe that the security at Bali's hotels is any better / more competent. Also, although no specific security information has been made public to presume there is a risk from hijacked aircraft (like 9/11), the risk can not be ignored especially as;
a) There is little or no security on internal flights from other Indonesian airports,
b) Most of the branded hotels are near or under the flight paths for aircraft.

You should note, even the United States Embassy in Jakarta has warned its own country's Government workers not to avoid identifiably Western hotels, as late as September 3rd, 2004.

Because of their owners and / or brand name and / or location and / or size and / or reputation, we believe the most obvious significant risk is to the following hotels: Hard Rock Kuta, Grand Bali Beach, Westin Nusa Dua, Grand Hyatt Bali, Sheraton Laguna Nusa Dua, Bali Intercontinental Resort, Bali Hai Resort & Spa, Grand Mirage Resort, Aston Bali and the Bali Hyatt. Some of these hotels (where there are links to dedicated pages on them) have other problems / issues you should / may want to be aware of. You may also wish to visit our Bali health advisory page, as this warns of things such as illegal effluence dumping in Nusa Dua and open sewers next to the Bali Hai Resort & Spa in Tuban-Kuta.

Certain Tourist Areas
It is very simple, if you go to an area / building frequented by a large number of western, especially young tourists, especially where there is easy road access and / or little chance of effective security, you are at greater risk. The risk becomes even greater is the area or venue / building symbolizes modern western culture, more so if drugs and / or prostitution and / or gay tolerance are present (as they would help islamic terrorists vindicate their actions).

If you are somewhere which is intersected by a busy road, be aware that a feigned breakdown just up the road would prove the perfect visible reason for a terrorist to leave their vehicle, walk up the road (as if to see what was happening / help), get into the feigned broken down vehicle, to speed away (as the road in front would then be clear) and detonate a large device in the vehicle they left behind using their mobile phone.

Popular (with tourists) restaurants with adjacent car parks are also a risk. Night clubs and bars probably the greatest risk due to the presence of alcohol (or worse) and a large number of younger western tourists. If like to enjoy yourself at night, we urge you to select your venue carefully or leave the entertainment / clubbing until you get home.

If you think we are over-reacting, read our page on the corrupt Bali Police and then remind yourself of October 2002 on our Bali Bombing page (not for children or people of nervous disposition).

Remember, foreign governments play a hazardous game between maintaining diplomatic relations (for the benefit of trade) and warnings to their citizens. If they told you the full truth, you would probably never go to Bali.

Please do not become a victim or part of the problem. Read:
Bali Tourism (Should I go, where, and how do I avoid adding to the problem / putting myself / my family at risk in Bali?).

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