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US Government Sanctions Peruvian Rebels for Terrorism

  • Associated Press

FILE - Members of Peru's Shining Path terrorist group, speak to journalists in a remote jungle region in southern Peru, Cuzco, April 17, 2012.

FILE - Members of Peru's Shining Path terrorist group, speak to journalists in a remote jungle region in southern Peru, Cuzco, April 17, 2012.

The U.S. government sanctioned three leaders of Peru's Shining Path guerrilla movement Tuesday, saying they “actively engaged in terrorism” as part of their mission to overthrow the Peruvian government.

Tarcela Loya Vilchez and Victor and Jorge Quispe Palomino were added to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. The three men were “determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security” of Americans or U.S. interests, the State Department said in a statement.

The Treasury Department also announced its own designation.

The Palomino brothers lead Shining Path, a Maoist rebel group that has declared the U.S. a primary enemy and wants to overthrow the government of Peru.

The State Department offers a $5 million reward for information leading to Victor Quispe Palomino's arrest. He participated in Shining Path operations since the 1980s, when he admitted to taking part in the April 1983 massacre of 69 men, women and children in Lucanamarca, Peru.

The two brothers are also the subjects of 2014 indictments in the U.S. for terrorism, narcotics, and weapons charges.

Vilchez leads the group's military and ideological training of children. He's known to have recruited some 30 new Shining Path members in May 2014 alone in the hope they would serve as reinforcements for any planned attacks.

Last year, the U.S. government designated the group and the Palomino brothers as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin designation.

While Shining Path has carried out scattered attacks since 2000, its threat to topple the Peruvian government has diminished. In 2006, it had about 300 members, who focused their efforts mostly on drug trafficking.

The U.S. government also announced terrorism sanctions Tuesday on three members of the Islamic State group.

Abdullah Ahmed al-Meshedani manages arriving foreign fighters, handles guesthouses for them, and transports suicide bombers on behalf of the militant group. Basil Hassan and Abdelilah Himich were named for plotting external operations.

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