Government charges Abu Sayyaf members in death of missionary

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department announced indictments Tuesday against five alleged leaders of the Muslim separatist group Abu Sayyaf for a kidnapping spree that led to the death of an American missionary and several others in the Philippines.

None of the five men indicted were in custody, Department officials said. But the indictment details the command structure of a group that the United States considers a top target in its war against terrorism.

It also gives U.S. authorities the grounds upon which to seek extradition of the men if they are captured.

"The United States sends a signal: We will work to track down and prosecute all those who commit barbaric acts of terrorism here at home and abroad," said Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson.

President Bush dispatched more than 1,000 U.S. troops to the Philippines this year to help that nation's armed forces track down Abu Sayyaf guerrillas, who the Americans say have ties to Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorists.

The indictments identified the five as Khadafi Abubakar Janjalani, spiritual leader of the group; Isnilon Totoni Hapilon, the second in command; Aldam Tilao, spokesman; Jainal Antel Sali Jr., an intelligence officer; and Hamsiraji Marusi Sali, a group leader.