Thu, Feb 01, 2018 - Page 6 News List

S Vietnam exile group labeled as terrorists

Reuters, HANOI

Vietnam on Tuesday listed a US-based group still loyal to the defunct state of South Vietnam as a terrorist organization, the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security said.

The California-based Provisional Government of Vietnam, led by US citizen Dao Minh Quan, established groups inside Vietnam to “execute acts of terrorism and sabotage, and assassinate officials,” the ministry said in a statement.

Quan was a “former lieutenant” of the US-backed Republic of Vietnam, the statement said, referring to the state also known as South Vietnam, which ruled the southern half of the country until the Vietnam War ended in 1975.

Quan did not respond to a request for comment.

A US embassy spokesman said the organization is not designated as a terrorist group by the US Department of State.

Earlier this month, Vietnam jailed four men for flying the flag of South Vietnam. The flag, a bright yellow rectangle with three thin horizontal stripes, is used by political activists in Vietnam who oppose the communist-controlled government in Hanoi.

A video on a Web site the ministry said was operated by Quan’s group showed a convoy of cars moving through a US town, some of which were flying the flag of South Vietnam. The Web site describes Quan as the “prime minister” of the Provisional Government of Vietnam.

In late December, a Vietnamese court jailed 15 people for their part in an alleged April bomb plot by Quan’s group at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the transport hub that serves Ho Chi Minh City — formerly known as Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam.

Fifteen people acted on instructions from an overseas group that had used social media to spread propaganda and recruit its members, local media said, citing the court indictment.

The group “planted fuel bombs in the car park and at the arrival hall at Tan Son Nhat International Airport,” the ministry’s statement said.

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