Bali Security Beefed Up Ahead of Obama’s Visit

By webadmin on 11:22 pm May 31, 2010
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Made Arya Kencana

Denpasar. Police in Bali have tightened security at all entry points to the island ahead of US President Barack Obama’s expected visit this month.

Bali Police Chief Insp. Gen. Sutisna on Monday said his office was preparing counter terrorism strategies in anticipation of possible threats linked to Obama’s visit.

“The prevailing intelligence shows that terrorists within the country are shifting from bombings to more frontal assaults,” he said after a conference call with National Police Chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri.

Also in attendance at the security briefing was Brig. Gen. Rachmat Budiyanto, head of the region’s Udayana Military Command, who said his forces had received vehicles and other equipment from Australia for use during the security operation surrounding the visit by Obama.

Rachmat said the military was conducting its own security preparations and had 4,480 personnel ready for deployment.

Following the briefing, Sutisna ordered a heightened security presence at the island’s five main gateways: Ngurah Rai International Airport and the Gilimanuk, Padangbai, Benoa and Celukan Bawang seaports. He also ordered intensified patrols of main roads across the province.

Sutisna said he had not yet received an itinerary for Obama’s expected visit to Bali, which could be part of his planned state visit to Indonesia.

“We’ll get confirmation of the date after the US Secret Service arrives here on June 9,” he said.

Sutisna speculated that Obama would stay in the upmarket tourist area of Nusa Dua, and visit tourist sites in Ubud, Jimbaran and Uluwatu.

He said this would give the police a general idea of the routes they needed to cover.