The Department of State reiterates its Public Announcement of July 24 concerning attacks on locations in Malaysia by members of the Philippines-based terrorist group Abu Sayyaf. On September 11, armed gunmen stormed a Malaysian diving resort on the Malaysian Island of Pandanan, which is located off southeastern Sabah State, on the Island of Borneo. The armed group seized three Malaysian hostages.
In view of this latest incident, U.S. citizens are strongly cautioned to avoid all travel to the areas around Semporna and Tawau on the Sabah mainland and to the islands off southeastern Sabah, including Sipadan and Pandanan.
Pandanan Island is only 35 minutes by boat from Sipadan, where the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group seized 21 hostages on April 23. The group has also taken hostage a number of Filipinos on Basilan Island in the Philippines. Their captors have killed some of these hostages. On August 28, the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group took hostage a U.S. citizen, who had been visiting Zamboanga, Philippines.
U.S. citizens traveling in any of these aforementioned areas of Malaysia are particularly encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. The Embassy may be contacted by telephone at (60)(3) 2168-5000, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.