Peru arrests Shining Path suspects
The alleged members of the Shining Path group were arrested in Lima on
November 20 with diagrams of the U.S. Embassy, Rospigliosi said.
"The suspicion is that they were planning to carry out attacks against
Embassy and against another site that is linked to U.S. interests," Rospigliosi told
cable news station Channel N. He did not specify the other site, or provide
information about the identity of the suspects.
The U.S. State Department warned American citizens on Saturday of "evidence
an increase in activity by members of the Shining Path terrorist organization."
The Shining Path waged war against the government in the 1980s and early
terrorizing urban and rural areas with car bombings and assassinations. The
violence diminished significantly after the 1992 capture of its founder and leader,
Abimael Guzman, who is now serving a life sentence.
Authorities suspect that the alleged attacks were planned for Monday, December
-- Guzman's birthday, Rospigliosi said. Shining Path has carried out terrorist acts
on that date in the past, he said.
The U.S. State Department said, "It is possible that Shining Path activity
directed against U.S. citizens and interests, especially around anniversary dates
significant to the Shining Path throughout the month of December."
At the peak of their power, the guerrillas carried out bombings and other
against U.S. government and commercial properties in Peru. The rebels consider
the United States an imp erialist force.
Rospigliosi said Peruvian police have beefed up security at the U.S. Embassy,
U.S. ambassador's residence and at "other locales."
Police believe at least 400 Shining Path combatants are still active, mainly
in the Ene
and Huallaga River valleys east and northeast of Lima. At the peak of its strength,
the Shining Path was believed to have as many as 10,000 fighters.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.