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Airport terror plot trial begins

Update: December, 27/2017 - 09:00
A court in HCM City yesterday began to hear the case of 15 people who allegedly plotted to use petrol bombs to blow up Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport.— Photo vietnamnet

HCM CITY — A court in HCM City yesterday began to hear the case of 15 people who allegedly plotted to use petrol bombs to blow up Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport as the country was preparing to celebrate Liberation Day, a national holiday which marks the liberation of the south on April 30, 1975. 

The defendants are charged with “terrorism to oppose the people’s administration,” a crime punishable by death in Việt Nam. Another defendant was charged with "failing to denounce criminals".

According to the indictment, Đào Minh Quân and Phạm Lisa are the leaders of an overseas "subversive" group. They were responsible for hatching the terrorist plot, but they have not been arrested yet as they live outside the country.

Since 2016, Quân and Lisa have used social media to find Vietnamese residents in Việt Nam to set up terrorist groups with the slogan “kill all, burn all, and destroy all,” according to Vietnamese prosecutors.

In April, Lisa told Đặng Hoàng Thiện and several others to use petrol bombs at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport to sabotage the city’s celebrations of the end of the American War on April 30, 1975.

Phạm Lisa provided Thiện with VNĐ12 million ($530) to make the bombs, prosecutors said.

On April 22, Ngô Thụy Tường Vy and Trương Tấn Phát brought two petrol bombs placed in paper boxes to the airport, leaving one at the parking lot and the other at the international terminal.

Passengers at the terminal who thought the box looked suspicious notified airport security.

Thiện failed to detonate the bomb at the parking lot as he was too far away, so he moved it to the international terminal, where he successfully ignited it, sending passengers fleeing in panic.

Investigators discovered that in early April that Thiện, Nguyễn Đức Sinh and their accomplices had burned down a police warehouse containing 320 motorbikes that had been impounded for traffic violations in Đồng Nai Province’s Biên Hòa City, causing nearly VNĐ1.3 billion ($57,300) in damage.

The other members of the group were allegedly plotting other terrorist attacks across Việt Nam, according to the indictment.

They had bought guns in Cambodia and made petrol bombs in an attempt to attack supermarkets in Saigon and residences of government leaders, the indictment said.

They were also charged with staging protests outside HCM City’s Notre Dame Cathedral, investigators said. Vietnamese security forces foiled all the plots.

The court verdict is expected on Friday. — VNS

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