Travelers are beginning to return to Sipadan island and the nearby Sabah state port of Semporna, a year after Abu Sayyaf rebels from the Philippines abducted more than 20 tourists and staff from a dive resort on the island. The U.S. State Department still warns travelers away, but Europeans and Asians are finding the area secure, with hundreds of troops guarding the island and the port. Air and boat patrols have bolstered security in the Sulu and Celebes seas, and the Abu Sayyaf are under siege in the Philippines. It is still highly advisable, however, to visit only areas that have a visible security presence, because the region has a long tradition of lawlessness.