Wed, 30 Apr 2003

N. Sumatra warned of terror attacks

MEDAN, North Sumatra: North Sumatra Governor Tengku Rizal Nurdin called on security officials and residents to remain alert for possible attacks by the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and extremist groups.

"Regents and mayors should coordinate with the local military and police to monitor newcomers in their areas in order to prevent unwanted incidents," the governor said during a seminar on terrorist attacks here on Tuesday.

He said two recent bombings in Jakarta should serve as a warning for the province that GAM was intensifying its activities, and could use the province as a safe haven if the government begins military operations in Aceh.

Insp. Gen. Ansyad Mbay, chief of the antiterrorism desk at the office of the coordinating minister for political and security affairs, said that besides GAM, the activities of the Jamaah Islamiyah terrorist group also were being monitored.

"The two groups have been involved in all of the bombings (in Indonesia) between 1999 and 2002," he said, adding that there were indications that GAM was behind the recent blasts near the UN office in Jakarta and at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. --JP