Saturday, July 18, 2009

Marriott-Ritz bombings & Energy Meeting (2)

One by one, mystery surround the Marriott & Ritz-Carlton bombings in Jakarta on Friday uncovered. Information about the precise location of the bomb blast at Marriott Hotel might lead to answer of question about the bomber's motives. reported that the bomb blast at JW Lounge on Friday, July 17, not Syailendra Restaurant as generally reported before. JW Lounge is not a public area. JW Lounge usually booked for special events like breakfast meeting, just like what happened Friday morning when more than 15 executives from companies in energy, mining, and other sectors assembled.
Key witness who survived the attack but currently treated at Jakarta hospital, Didik Ahmad Taufik, said the suspected bomber with travel bags walked to the JW Lounge. Taufik, a security officer at the hotel, was right in front of the JW Lounge. "When he approached the door of JW Lounge, I was suspicious so I checked him," he said. quoted Taufik that the security officer of Marriott actually asked the man with travel bag asking why he wanted to go to JW Lounge. The man replied, "I want to give something my boss ordered."
Taufik let the man in because he didn't want to get complaints from the hotel's guest. "If his boss was in the room, I just don't want to get complaints," Taufik explained saying he handed over the "guest" to his colleague. When Taufik turned his back and walked to the hotel's lobby,  
seconds later, the bomb blasts.
In the JW Lounge, executives were having their regular breakfast meeting titled Indonesia Country Program (ICP) Breakfast Roundtable. They are executives of major multinationals like Freeport Indonesia, Chevron, Anadarko, Husky Oil, Alstom Power, Thiess Contractors, Oil Tanking, Holcim, AEL (explosives) etc. Three executives reportedly killed. Others are seriously injured. Two Freeport executives (Adrianto Machribi and David Potter), one from Anadarko (Kevin S. Moore), and Cindy Edward (US citizen) have been evacuated to Singapore hospitals for medical treatment.
Energy and mineral resources minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro had earlier dismissed speculation that the executive meeting was the prime target of the brutal act. Analyst Sidney Jones in an interview aired by MetroTV few hours ago also indirectly dismissed the speculation when she said the terrorists were looking for "strong symbols" in the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton names, not necessarily because they knew about the breakfast meeting. Jones believes the bombings have nothing to do with presidential election protests.
Friday bombings killed nine people, including at least three executives attended the meeting (Timothy Mackay/CEO of Holcim Indonesia, Garth McEvoy/manager of Thiess Contractors, and Nathan Verity/Verity HR). Australian media reported diplomat Craig Senger, trade officer at Australian Embassy, is also feared to have died but this has not been confirmed. About 53 people injured, including 16 foreigners (six Americans, one Australian, 2 Netherlands, 2 Canadian, one Indian, two South Korean, one New Zealand, and one Norway).
Please read our previous reports about the meeting.

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