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Scoop Links: Aus. PM Admits Bali Bombing Warning

Following from yesterday's news from the Washington Post - "Scoop Links: CIA Warned Of Attack 14 Days Before", and NZ PM Helen Clark's denials to the NZ Parliament concerning the same - "PM Answers Questions On Intelligence Failure" - the official story appears to have changed again.

The following links are to Australian media reports of the latest developments in the Bali bombing intelligence failure story.


The Warning Tourists Never Heard

By Tom Allard, Mark Riley and Marian Wilkinson
October 17 2002

The Prime Minister, John Howard, yesterday admitted that Australia received recent US intelligence identifying Bali as a possible target of a terrorist attack on Western tourists but had decided not to change its advice to Australian holidaymakers.

The revelation came a day after Mr Howard, along with other members of cabinet and the US ambassador to Australia, Tom Schieffer, said they had been unaware of any such intelligence.

Mr Howard told Parliament that Bali had been mentioned in recent intelligence reports as a site, along with other tourist locations across Indonesia, in which there was a risk of "possible terrorist activity against United States tourists".

"This intelligence was assessed by agencies and the view was formed by them that no alteration in the threat assessment level, then at a high, applying to Indonesia was warranted," he said.

The most recent Australian travel advice on Indonesia prior to the terrorist attack was on September 20, several days before the US intelligence mentioning Bali was disseminated.

The notice advised travellers that bombs had been exploded in Indonesia, including tourist areas, and that further explosions "may be attempted".

However, it also said, in bold type, that tourist services were "operating normally" in Bali.

For Full Story…

More reports from Australian media of this story…

- Australian - We were warned of threat: Howard
- AFP - Australian Govt criticised for intelligence failure
- ABC Radio Transcript - Bali warning failure
- ABC Online - Downer denies Dept failed to act on Bali warning
- Melbourne Herald Sun - Our spies knew of US warning
- AFR - Spy review after US terror warning

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