SYDNEY, Australia – Terrorists are ready to carry out an attack in Indonesia (search), possibly targeting a Hilton hotel, Australia said Wednesday, and Britain warned of an increased threat of terror attacks in Indonesia during the Christmas holidays.
Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a statement saying it had "received credible new information suggesting terrorists are ready to carry out an attack shortly in Indonesia, possibly targeting a Hilton hotel," adding "Other targets cannot be ruled out."
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer (search), speaking in Papua New Guinea where he was attending a conference, urged Australians to stay away from Western hotels in Indonesia.
The British government also warned of a higher danger of terrorist attack in the Southeast Asian nation during the year-end holidays.
"We continue to receive reports that terrorists in Indonesia are planning further attacks on Westerners and Western interests," the Foreign Office said in an updated travel advisory.
"We believe that there is a heightened risk of attacks in the lead up to and during this Christmas/New Year period and that these attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in Indonesia, including locations frequented by foreigners."
Australia's warning came a day ahead of a visit by its defense minister, Robert Hill, to Jakarta. The trip was going ahead as planned. The government statement did not elaborate on where the intelligence on a possible attack came from.
"This is credible information from intelligence. We wouldn't be passing it on if we weren't particularly concerned about the information," Downer said.
Pranowo Dahlan, head of Indonesia's anti terror unit, said he was unaware of the new warning. "We have no information regarding a specific attack and we're trying to get more information from the Australian government," he said.
"We have not received any warning from the police or the Australian embassy," said Shakira Tamayanti, the public relations manager at the Hilton Jakarta.
She said security at Hilton hotels in Indonesia had been boosted since the 2002 terror bombings on Bali island that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
Australia's Foreign Ministry warned citizens to put off nonessential travel to Indonesia. "In the lead-up to the Christmas and New Year holiday period we continue to receive reports that terrorists in the region are planning attacks against a range of targets," the foreign ministry said in a travel advisory for Indonesia.
"Terrorist attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in Indonesia and could be directed against any locations known to be frequented by foreigners," it warned.
On Sept. 9, terrorists attacked Australia's embassy in Jakarta, killing 10 people outside the heavily fortified building.