- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 20, 2002

SYDNEY, Australia The United States yesterday urged Australia to remain committed to the war on terror following the Bali nightclub bombing that killed dozens of Australians.
"This is the time to redouble our efforts to make sure that this campaign against terrorism is done not only locally but regionally and throughout the world," Secretary of State Colin L. Powell told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
He said he hoped Australia's leaders "will make the case to the Australian people that this is not the time to withdraw from what we have been doing."
Prime Minister John Howard was one of the first world leaders to commit troops to the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. He also backs a strike against Iraq, but opposition lawmakers and much of the Australian public want U.N. approval before an attack.
Public sentiment in Australia could change because of the Oct. 12 nightclub bombing on the Indonesia island of Bali that killed nearly 200 people and injured 300, many of them Australians.
The number of Australians confirmed dead or missing in the Bali attack was 103, officials said. The first body of an Australian victim in the Bali bombing arrived back home yesterday, the coffin draped in the national flag.
President Bush offered condolences to Australia for the deaths of so many of its citizens, saying "America is with you in spirit," in a taped message in advance of today's national day of mourning for those killed in the attack.
Many in Australia are comparing the national anguish over the bombing to the pain Americans felt after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Mr. Bush made the comparison.
"We remember so well after September 11, 2001, your prayers, your sympathies, your strong support. And we will never forget it," Mr. Bush said.
He said the United States would help Australia "hunt down the killers so that there is justice in the world."
Meanwhile, Australia again urged its citizens to leave Indonesia, saying areas in Jakarta frequented by Westerners could be hit by terrorists.
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said there had been threats of bomb attacks in Jakarta suburbs where Westerners live.
"On the basis of intelligence we've received, it's very important we draw people's attention to the risk," Mr. Downer told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
The government has been accused of failing to advise travelers adequately about U.S. intelligence warnings of heightened threats against foreigners in Indonesia.
Yesterday, media reports said a Defense Department security adviser had also written an e-mail specifically warning of a terrorist attack in Bali, a Hindu enclave in a Muslim nation, more than six weeks ago.
The Herald Sun newspaper said senior adviser Keith Wilson wrote the e-mail on Aug. 27 alerting military staff in Victoria and Tasmania states planning to fly to Indonesia that intelligence warnings indicated Bali and Australian citizens were in danger of possible attack.
Mr. Downer said he did not believe there was anything in the e-mail that was different from information already available to the government.

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