Planning and executing the attack on the Brinks Hotel

SR 2093/4
671 Take 1
Interview with Nguyen Thanh Xuan, Brinks Hotel Man.
Nguyen Thanh Xuan:
Now, let me describe to you the attack on Brinks Hotel. It was at the end of November when I received order to attack the Brinks Hotel where high American officials were lodging. These were the commanders of the Special War, which was in reality still what they called the Limited War. Therefore, all the crimes committed by the Americans were directed from this nerve center. When we received the order, we went out to investigate the situation, especially the weaknesses of the enemy.
One of the weaknesses was that the puppet officers were in frequent contact with the Americans. Another thing was that the building did not have a ground floor. The ground floor was used as a parking garage. These were the two weaknesses. Besides, it was also possible for us to mix in with the crowd walking in the streets. After we have grasped the situation, we, first of all, had our people act as puppet officers to get in there and attack them.
Having decided upon this, we had the persons who were going to be impostors follow the puppet officers around to see how they acted: from the way they got in and out of their cars to the way they smoke their cigarettes to the way they talked to the inhabitants. As for myself, I had to worry about the problem of weapons and of purchasing a car. After we finished with all our preparations, our superiors told us that we should attack the place when there were the most Americans there. First of all, we could attack on December 24th, which was the anniversary of the founding of the People's Army of Vietnam.
672, Take 1
We've just run out of film. Please repeat from the time when you chose the date for the attack.
Nguyen Thanh Xuan:
Finally, the decision by my superior was to attack on the 24th before the cease-fire so that we would not violate the understanding. When we began to carry out our mission, the explosives and cars were already in the city. We then drove from our place to the front of the hotel. When we arrived there the secret police saluted our impostor major. They then opened the way for him to come in. Our major, after entering the ground of the hotel and descending from his car, asked for an American colonel, saying he was coming back from the city of Da Lat and that an appointment had been made with him.
But when we chose the colonel, we knew that he had left for the United States. This was because we had secret agents inside the Saigon regime and knew about their movements. As we knew beforehand, the American was really not there. But our impostor major was resolute that the American colonel was there, telling the driver to wait there until the American colonel came and drive him home and that he, the impostor major, would leave for home first. As our impostor major left in another car, I, who was acting as the driver, parked the car under the building.
And then I went out there to the gate and told the secret police that I had not had anything to eat all day and so, if the colonel happened to come back, please tell them that I was out to lunch and would soon come back. The secret police agreed to this, and so I left the building. I sat in a coffee shop nearby to wait for the explosion, which came about at exactly 17:45 hours. This was before the ceasefire was supposed to take place. And it was precisely as we had expected since they used the Brinks Hotel as the conference headquarters for their Christmas activities. Many Americans also came over there from the Rex hotel. The end result was that we were completely safe and the attack was a success.