Julian Borger in Washington and John Aglionby in Bali
Thursday October 17, 2002
The CIA issued a warning in September about a potential terrorist threat to Bali and other tourist resorts in south-east Asia, a US intelligence source said yesterday, provoking new questions over whether the attack could have been foiled.
The CIA warning was more specific than has been officially acknowledged and it fuelled a growing row - not only in Washington but also in London and Canberra - over whether Indonesia could have acted sooner against Islamist militants or whether tourists could have been given more warning of the dangers of travelling to resorts like Bali.
According to an American intelligence source, the CIA sent a warning to its stations across south-east Asia in the first half of September, alerting them to an imminent attack. "It mentioned five or six potential targets, including - specifically - Bali," the source said. "The state department didn't act on it and it's become a bubbling scandal."