03 May 2011

Notice from American Embassy after announcement of Osama bin Laden's death

As articles appear in the press on this topic, I'll paste them in below the embassy alert.

May 1, 2011

Jakarta, American Citizen Services

Warden Message:  WORLDWIDE TRAVEL ALERT following recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad to the enhanced potential for anti-American violence following recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan.  Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels, and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations.  U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.  This Travel Alert expires August 1, 2011.

U.S. Embassy operations in affected areas will continue to the extent possible under the constraints of any evolving security situation.  U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert.  These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture.  In those instances, U.S. Embassies and Consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens.  U.S. citizens abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Media coverage of local events may cause family and friends to become concerned for their loved ones traveling and residing abroad.  We urge U.S. citizens to keep in regular contact with family and friends.  U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), to receive the latest travel updates and information and to obtain updated information on travel and security issues.  U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

Travel information is also available at www.travel.state.gov.  Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

For information on "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis," please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs' website at www.travel.state.gov.  For further information on specific countries, U.S. citizens should consult the Country Specific Information pages, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings at www.travel.state.gov as well as the Worldwide Caution.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs' page on Facebook as well.

U.S. Embassy Jakarta is located at Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan No. 4-5, Jakarta; the 24-hour switchboard telephone number is 62-21-3435-9000.  The telephone number of U.S. Consulate General Surabaya is 62-31-295-6400; U.S. Consulate Medan is 62-61-415-2200; U.S. Consular Agency Bali is 62-361-233-605.

This email is UNCLASSIFIED. 

CNN piece from 4 May 2011. Click on link to watch video.

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) -- They chanted "Osama, Hero! ... Obama, Terrorist! ... Destroy America!"

Hundreds of followers of the Islamic Defenders Front gathered Wednesday at its Jakarta headquarters to give Osama bin Laden "a million thanks and honor." They sang Islamic songs before chanting prayers for bin Laden.

Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, is an Indonesian Islamist movement which advocates implementation of conservative laws. They're more known for thuggish attacks on groups deemed un-Islamic or immoral and minority religious groups, according to human rights groups.

Men, women and children filed into FPI's Jakarta headquarters, walking past posters of Osama bin Laden and U.S. President Barack Obama, his face crossed out in red.

In a statement read by its Secretary General Sobri Lobis, FPI expressed doubt about the death of bin Laden, saying the news from "infidel America" should be scrutinized. However, the group also said, if the news was true, it condemned the killing and the way bin Laden's body was buried at sea.

"Osama bin Laden is a true Islamic warrior figure who defended Islam," FPI said.

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