Hanoi jails two US members of group still fighting Vietnam War

Members of California-based Provisional National Government of Vietnam stand with policemen during a trial in Ho Chi Minh city on August 22, 2018.

(CNN)Vietnam has jailed 12 members of a US-based anti-government organization with roots in the Vietnam War, including two US citizens accused of plotting to bomb an international airport.

According to state media, on Wednesday the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City handed down prison sentences ranging from five to 14 years over "anti-state activities" carried out by members of the Provisional National Government of Vietnam, which is headquartered in California.
Those jailed included Nguyen James Han and Phan Angel, both US citizens. They will be deported from Vietnam after the completion of their 14 year jail terms, the Vietnam News Agency said.
    Pope Thrower, a US embassy spokesman in Hanoi, said consular staff will "continue to monitor Mr. Nguyen's welfare, advocate for him, and provide consular services until his release."
    "We have no higher priority than the safety and security of US citizens abroad," Thrower added. The embassy has not been authorized to speak on behalf of Phan.
    While Vietnam routinely jails bloggers, activists and rights lawyers who are critical of the government, Nguyen and Phan's case has shone a light on the continued operation of US-based opposition groups, decades after the end of the Vietnam War and normalization of relations between Hanoi and Washington.
    At least two of those groups have been accused of carrying out terrorist activities in Vietnam with the purpose of achieving regime change in the communist nation.
    However, details about the groups and the severity of their actions remain unclear, with both the Vietnamese government and the organizations themselves having a vested interest in exaggerating their role and influence.
    Nguyen James Han, an American citizen who is a member of California-based Provisional National Government of Vietnam was sentenced to 14 years in prison.