WASHINGTON -- The U.S. State Department issued a public
announcement telling American citizens traveling to Indonesia or
East Timor to exercise extreme caution.
While major tourist destinations in Bali, parts of Sumatra and
North Sulawesi have been relatively calm, Indonesia is experiencing
a major political transition, and "unrest and violence can erupt
with little forewarning," the department said.
There has been a rise in anti-American rhetoric by some national
political leaders and extremist groups.
Some foreign travelers in troubled areas have been subject to
arbitrary arrest, detention and deportation and, on at least one
occasion, false accusations of espionage.
There also have been a number of acts of intimidation and
violence directed at American companies and U.S. diplomatic
facilities, the department said.
Citing security concerns, the government of Indonesia has
restricted the travel of U.S. and other foreign government
officials to Aceh, Papua and the Moluccas (provinces of North
Maluku and Maluku). American citizens should avoid travel to these
regions, according to the State Department.
The announcement advises Americans to " keep a low profile."
Americans should avoid large crowds and potential demonstration
Also, it urges travelers to make sure that "passports and
important personal papers are in order in the event that it becomes
necessary to leave the country quickly."
The State Department also issued a public announcement regarding
travel to Egypt.
U.S. citizens are urged to "exercise caution in considering
travel to Egypt as well as other areas in the region."
The department said that the possibility exists that extremist
groups may be planning terrorist acts in Egypt and in other areas
of the region.
It said American citizens should avoid large crowds and
demonstrations, maintain a low profile, and take appropriate steps
to reduce their vulnerability.