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Malaysia Travel Warning

Issued by U.S. State Department

Jun 13, 2001

The Department reiterates its concern about attacks by members of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Southern Philippines near the Malaysian State of Sabah. The ASG remains a security threat to areas of Malaysia near the Southern Philippines.

On May 27, 2001, members of the ASG kidnapped 20 people, including three American citizens, from a resort on the Philippine island of Palawan and took them by boat to Basilan Island in the Southern Philippines. Since April 2000, the ASG has taken a number of people hostage, including foreign tourists on the Malaysian islands of Sipadan and Pandanan. The Department's current Public Announcement for the Philippines indicates there is concern that the ASG may attack U.S. citizens and others again. The group is under attack by the Armed Forces of the Philippines at this time.

Since September 2000, the Government of Malaysia has increased the number of police and military personnel deployed in the southeastern part of Sabah. It has also placed small detachments in various places, including the islands of Sipadan and Pandanan, where armed gunmen kidnapped hostages on April 23 and September 11, 2000, subsequently transporting them to the islands of the Southern Philippines. However, the region is remote and large in area, and assistance in security matters may not be readily available.

U.S. citizens traveling to the islands and in the coastal areas of eastern Sabah should be aware of the persistence of threats from the Abu Sayyaf Group, and should exercise extreme caution if they travel to that region.

U.S. citizens traveling to the islands or in the coastal region of eastern Sabah in Malaysia are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. As the U.S. Embassy is quite distant from this region, U.S. citizens may wish to contact the Embassy by telephone at 60-3-2168-5000, or by e-mail at

For further general information on travel to Malaysia, consult the Department's latest Consular Information Sheet, at http://travel.state.gov. Travelers to the Malaysian State of Sabah should also consult the current Public Announcement on the Philippines.

This Public Announcement replaces the Public Announcement for Malaysia dated April 9, 2001, to expand the region included in the Announcement and to provide updated security information. It expires on December 6, 2001.

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