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Jakarta Update: Marriott Responds to Security Concerns

July 20, 2009 at 8:56 AM | by | ()

After last week's attacks on the JW Marriott Jakarta and Ritz-Carlton Jakarta hotels where suicide bombers killed a total of nine victims (including themselves), Marriott is responding by assuring the public that security measures were in place at the time of the blasts — and that the company will be looking into ramping up security in their properties.

Sadly, this is not the first time in the last several years that Marriott hotels have been a target of major attacks. In 2003, another attack on the JW Marriott Jakarta killed 12 people, and in 2008, dozens were killed in a Marriott Islamabad bombing.

According to Bloomberg News, though, the Jakarta bombers were actually questioned by security:

According to The JW Marriott bomber exited an elevator wearing a backpack on his chest and pulling a luggage trolley and told guards he was delivering a case to his boss, said Alan Orlob, global head of security for Marriott International Inc.

The Ritz Carlton attacker told restaurant workers he was a resident in room 2701 of the hotel, which has only 26 floors, as he sat down to order breakfast, said Orlob.

Apparently, security guards confronted and questioned the man wearing a backpack on his chest, and the Ritz attacker was asked for his name after he offered an incorrect room number to restaurant staff. The attackers are believed to have been linked to the Jemaah Islamiyah terror network. Unfortunately, as Marriott's global head of security noted, there is not a whole lot you can do when suicide bombers are involved.

Still, Marriott promises to kick up security: they're looking into the use of X-ray machines, security dogs and entry barriers — and Bill Marriott addressed the issue on his blog, saying the company is "committed to do our best to implement tough and effective security procedures working with our associates, outside security experts and the authorities."

[Photo: Twitpic via The Age]

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