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Vietnam names US-based exile group a terrorist organisation

AP | Hanoi |

Vietnam declared a California-based exile group a terrorist organisation on Wednesday a month after 15 local members were convicted in a failed bombing of the country’s largest airport.

The attempted attack at the Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City in April caused a scare but no casualties.

The communist government linked it to the Provisional Central Government of Vietnam, or PCGV, an exile group established in 1991 and little known locally but tied to the defeated US-backed South Vietnamese republic.

A court in Ho Chi Minh City in December convicted the group’s local members of terrorism and sentenced them up to 16 years in jail.

Police have also issued arrest warrants for Dao Minh Quan, the self-claimed prime minister of PCGV and Lisa Pham, a senior member of the group, for their roles in the case. Both are said to be in the United States.

The Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on Wednesday the group is a terrorist organisation and those associated with it including joining, instigating others to join, sponsoring or receiving assistance from the group, attending the group’s training courses will constitute terrorist offense and will be dealt with in accordance with law.

Another group, the California-based Vietnam Reform Party or Viet Tan, was declared a terrorist organisation in 2016 and was accused of sending arms and planning attacks.