JAKARTA, Indonesia – Bomb squad officers searched Saturday for explosives in a Jakarta shopping mall known as the World Trade Center complex -- the focus of a U.S. terror alert -- but found no suspected bombs and shops resumed business as usual.
On Friday, the U.S. Embassy (search) warned its citizens to stay away from the mall in the north of the Indonesian capital because of a "possible bomb threat" over the next three days. It gave no more details. The Australian government released a similar warning Saturday.
Bomb squad officers searched the complex, and 100 extra plainclothes officers were deployed at the facility, mall security officers said.
"Some police officers have been here since last night after they informed us about the threats," said Muhammad Ardhan, security chief at the mall. "But in fact, they found nothing after searching the entire complex."
Juli Bakti Irvanto, a spokesman for the building management, said they had requested additional security from the police.
Like other public buildings in Jakarta, security at the World Trade Center (search) was already tight. Cars and customers are routinely checked for explosives or weapons.
Most traders said they were unconcerned.
"Bomb threats are normal these days," said clothing vendor Herawati Wijaya, adding that mall management had yet to inform her of the warning. "Still, I will check because this could threaten the safety of our customers."
Early Saturday, customers were trickling into the complex.
The 12-story mall, which sells mostly discount designer goods, is usually crowded on weekends. It is well outside the downtown district and is not especially popular with foreigners.
New York's World Trade Center, unrelated to the Jakarta mall, was the target of an A Qaedaattack in 2001.
Jemaah Islamiyah (search), an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group that operates in several Southeast Asian countries, has been blamed for a string of terrorist attacks in Indonesia in recent years. They include the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, a 2003 blast at Jakarta's J.W. Marriott hotel that killed 12, and a suicide car bombing at the Australian Embassy last September which killed 10.
Local police and foreign governments have repeatedly warned that more attacks are likely. Several countries advise their citizens not to travel to Indonesia at all.
While many Jemaah Islamiyah leaders have been captured, two of its most dangerous alleged bomb-makers are still at large, regional security officials say.