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Cablegate: Foreign Assistance Worker Possibly Targeted in Aceh

VZCZCXRO0203
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #1903 3211111
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171111Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3858
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS JAKARTA 001903

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, DS
S/P (GREG BEHRMAN)
NSC FOR D.WALTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINS ID

SUBJECT: FOREIGN ASSISTANCE WORKER POSSIBLY TARGETED IN ACEH

1. (U) This is a Consulate Medan message. It is Sensitive but
Unclassified.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Indonesian police are investigating an incident
involving the representative of the European Commission in Banda
Aceh. A bullet or some other type of projectile was apparently
fired at the representative's Banda Aceh home on November 16. There
were no injuries. This appears to be an isolated incident and not
part of any concerted effort to target Westerners. END SUMMARY.

3. (SBU) An incident in Aceh has stirred concern. John Penny, the
European Commission (EC) Representative in Banda Aceh and a UK
national, and his wife were sitting near the front window of their
home at the Euro Guest House in Banda Aceh at 10 p.m. November 16
when Penny heard what he believes was a loud noise and observed a
clean round hole in the window. Forty police responded to his
emergency call but could find no bullets or other evidence. Based
on the nature of the hole and the fact it did not shatter the
window, Penny told ConGen Medan he is almost certain it was not a
rock. Penny believes the cause was either an air rifle or bullet
although police could find no bullets at the scene.

4. (SBU) Penny believes this was a threat directed at him but has
no idea of the motive. He said the hole in the window was at head
level and the direction of any projectile would have been a half
meter from his wife's head and a meter from his.

5. (SBU) Penny told Congen Medan that the incident may arise from a
dispute he had with a former driver that same morning. Penny fired
his driver two months prior over a salary dispute. The night of the
incident, Penny attended the first of the weekly European film
screenings and had just returned home when the incident occurred.

6. (SBU) The European Union (EU) Mission in Jakarta has sent an
official to Banda Aceh in response. Penny said the EU has not
decided how the incident will affect its profile in Aceh.

7. (SBU) We believe it is too early to assess the security impact
of this incident. Based on what we know it appears to be an
isolated event. We do not believe that there is a heightened threat
against AmCits or other Westerners in Aceh. Having said that, this
is the second attack in the past month against Westerners (a German
Red Cross worker was injured in a recent incident) and we will
continue to assess the security situation carefully. Congen Medan
is scheduled to meet with the Aceh Province Deputy Police Chief on
November 18.


HUME

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