Australia: After the Attack

New anti-terrorist laws would take effect in the nearest future

After a solemn session of Parliament earlier today, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Minister for Justice Senator Ellinson left for Indonesia this afternoon. Both are expected to visit Australian victims of the recent terrorist attack still under medical treatment in Bali. Further on, they are scheduled to meet senior Indonesian official to discuss the cooperation between Australian and Indonesian intelligence agencies in their war against terrorism.

Australia upgraded security measures at embassies worldwide. It is widely expected that new anti-terrorist laws would take effect in the nearest future. The deployment of soldiers around strategic buildings is being considered.

Sunday was proclaimed as the a National Day of Mourning in Australia.

While Indonesian and Australian investigators search for evidence in Bali, identity of perpetrators remains a mystery. While international media tend to quote names of Islamic organizations based in Indonesia, the story is - at this stage - nothing more than a media speculation without any tangible proof or evidence. An Australian expert on Indonesian affairs, Professor Budiman, explained in a TV interview here that Jemaah Islamiyah is in reality a small organization without large significance attributed to it in the West. While it may be noisy, it lacks technical capabilities to deliver a major terrorist attack.

Indonesian Police have questioned 27 people in relation to last Saturday's bombing in Bali. Most of those questioned were witnesses who were present near the blast site, Indonesian Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Saleh Saaf told reporters today. The police have not yet questioned a security guard who is a key witness in the incident as he is still being treated at Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar.

Henry L. Marconi PRAVDA.Ru Sydney Australia

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