Airport terror plot trial begins
VietNamNet Bridge – A court in HCM City yesterday began to hear the case of 15 people who allegedly plotted to use petrol bombs to blow up Tan Son Nhat 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.
A court in HCM City yesterday began to hear the case of 15 people who allegedly plotted to use petrol bombs to blow up Tan Son Nhat International Airport.— Photo: VNN
The defendants are charged with “terrorism to oppose the people’s administration,” a crime punishable by death in Vietnam. Another defendant was charged with "failing to denounce criminals".
According to the indictment, Dao Minh Quan and Pham 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, Quan and Lisa have used social media to find Vietnamese residents in Vietnam to set up terrorist groups with the slogan “kill all, burn all, and destroy all,” according to Vietnamese prosecutors.
In April, Lisa told Dang Hoang Thien and several others to use petrol bombs at Tan Son Nhat International Airport to sabotage the city’s celebrations of the end of the American War on April 30, 1975.
Pham Lisa provided Thien with VND12 million ($530) to make the bombs, prosecutors said.
On April 22, Ngo Thuy Tuong Vy and Truong Tan Phat 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.
Thien 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 Thien, Nguyen Duc Sinh and their accomplices had burned down a police warehouse containing 320 motorbikes that had been impounded for traffic violations in Dong Nai Province’s Bien Hoa City, causing nearly VND1.3 billion ($57,300) in damage.
The other members of the group were allegedly plotting other terrorist attacks across Vietnam, 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.