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Homeland Security

13 August 2004

U.S. Welcomes Conviction of Abu Sayyaf Terrorists in Philippines

Seventeen had participated in June 2001 kidnapping

The State Department released a statement August 13 welcoming the conviction of 17 members of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group by a Philippine court.

"The successful prosecution of these members of a violent, terrorist organization demonstrates the resolve of the Philippines to deny sanctuary to terrorists," said Adam Ereli, deputy spokesman.

Following is the text of the statement:

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
August 13, 2004

STATEMENT BY ADAM ERELI, DEPUTY SPOKESMAN

Conviction of 17 Abu Sayyaf Group Terrorists in the Philippines

The United States welcomes the conviction of 17 terrorist members of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group by a Philippine court. The 17 were convicted and sentenced to death for the June 2001 kidnapping of three nurses and a hospital laborer. Some of the 17 had also taken part in the 2001 Dos Palmas kidnapping of Americans Martin and Gracia Burnham and the beheading of American Guillermo Sobero.

The successful prosecution of these members of a violent, terrorist organization demonstrates the resolve of the Philippines to deny sanctuary to terrorists. It is particularly satisfying to see that justice has been done in the case of terrorists who have killed citizens of both our countries.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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