The State Department alerts U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to eastern Sabah, in Malaysia, due to threat of violence against foreigners, and urges extreme caution if traveling there. This replaces the Travel Alert dated January 15, 2010, to reflect continuing risks of travel in eastern Sabah. This Travel Alert expires on June 16, 2010.
U.S citizens should consider the risks associated with travel to eastern Sabah in Malaysia due to the threat from both terrorist and criminal groups. There are indications that both criminal and terrorist groups are planning or intend acts of violence against foreigners in eastern Sabah, notwithstanding the Government of Malaysia's increased ability to detect, deter and prevent such attacks. The Abu Sayyaf Group, based in the southern Philippines, has kidnapped foreigners in eastern Sabah in the past. Criminal elements are also responsible for kidnapping and piracy committed against foreigners. Of present concern are the resorts (and transportation to and from them) located in isolated areas of eastern Sabah, including Semporna and the islands of Mabul and Sipadan. Please avoid or use extreme caution in connection with any travel in these areas or locations.
The Department of State remains concerned about the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. The Worldwide Caution reminds U.S. citizens that terrorism can occur anywhere.
The Department strongly encourages U.S. citizens in Malaysia to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur through the State Department's travel registration website in order to obtain updated information on travel and security. By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in the case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at: 376 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and can be reached during normal business hours and for after-hours emergencies at tel. 03-2168-5000. The American Citizens Services (ACS) section's fax number is 03-2148-5801.
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's internet website where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts and Travel Warnings can be found. U.S. citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 from the United States and Canada, or 202-501-4444 from overseas. The Department also encourages U.S. citizens to read the Country Specific Information Sheet for Malaysia, available on the Embassyâs website and also on the Department's website.