(October 14, 2002)
The island paradise of Bali entices tourists from across the globe with its sugary sand beaches and serene Hindu culture. Bali was thought to be immune from the violence that has rocked Indonesia over the past several years - as we now know that is no longer the case.
"Terrorist groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets." - U.S. State Department
Even the U.S. State Department knew paradise wasn't safe. On November 23, 2001, a travel warning for Indonesia was issued to U.S. citizens. The U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, Ralph Boyce has been warning of terrorist threats being hatched in that country. The threats were so credible that Boyce closed the embassy for five days in September.
So, why were American's among the dead in Bali? Simply put, many travelers do not heed the U.S. State Department's regular warnings to U.S. citizens traveling abroad. Considering terrorist attacks have left more than 4,000 innocents dead around the globe in the past five years travelers might want to reconsider the government's warnings.
You can view the State Departments warnings on their website at http://travel.state.gov/ or you can call 202-647-5225, or receive information by automated telefax by calling 202-647-3000 from your fax machine.
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