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| 12/15/2010 12:00:00 AM

18 FARC members indicted on charges tied to hostage taking

December 15--Eighteen members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Washington on terrorism and weapons charges in connection with the taking of three U.S. citizens as hostages in Colombia.

Assistant Attorney General David Kris, who heads the Justice Department's National Security Division, said the hostages — Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell and Thomas Howes — were held in the Colombian jungle by members of FARC for more than five years until their rescue by Colombian military forces in July 2008.

The indictment charges the 18 FARC members with conspiracy to commit hostage taking, hostage taking, using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and a designated foreign terrorist organization. In addition, several of the suspects face murder charges in relation to FARC's execution of two other hostages seized at the same time as the three Americans.
 
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