Indonesian ex-policeman claims Al-Qaeda link

JAKARTA (AFP) – An Indonesian police officer who quit the force to become a terrorist said Thursday he was affiliated to Al-Qaeda and had trained about 170 militants to wage jihad, or "holy war".

Mohammed Sofyan Tsauri, 34, made the confession to reporters as he appeared at a Jakarta court for the start of his trial on terrorism-related charges.

"I am affiliated with Al-Qaeda and in contact with Abu Sayyaf," he said, referring to Osama bin Laden's network and a Philippines-based Islamist militant outfit.

"I became a terrorist after I quit the police (in 2008)... What I have done isn't an act of terror, it's an obligatory religious activity ordered by God."

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