Indonesian militant admits taking funds for terror camp
A top Indonesian terror suspect on Monday told a court he had received funds from key allies of radical Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir to run the "al Qaeda in Aceh" militant training camp.
Jakarta: A top Indonesian terror suspect on Monday told a court he had received funds from key allies of radical Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir to run the "al Qaeda in Aceh" militant training camp.
Abu Tholut, 49, widely believed to be one of the
nation`s most dangerous extremists, told a Jakarta court he
used the 140 million Rupiah (USD 16,000) to buy firearms and
bullets, pay the rent on a house and the downpayment on a car.
"I never asked but I received money... Rp 40 million
from Ubaid and Rp 100 million from Abdul Haris," Tholut said
during his witness testimony given via a video link at
Ubaid and Haris were former members of radical group
called Jamaah Ansharut-Tauhid established by Bashir in 2008.
The 72-year-old preacher faces the death penalty over
charges including that he led and financed the Aceh training
camp, which had planned Mumbai-style attacks using squads of
suicide gunmen against Westerners.
Prosecutors say he raised more than USD 140,000 to
establish the cell, which was discovered in Sumatra, in
February last year. Bashir denies the charges.
"I don`t know Abu Tholut. I know nothing about the
training in Aceh. I`ve never met Abu Tholut," he told the
court following Tholut`s testimony.
Tholut, who is also known under a series of aliases,
was arrested in December suspected of playing a key role in
setting up the camp, recruiting militants and raising illegal
funds for terror activity.
Tholut received militia training in Afghanistan during
the mujahedeen war against the Soviets in the late 1980s and
became a leading figure in Southeast Asia`s Jemaah Islamiyah
(JI) terror network on his return home.
He reportedly sent Islamic militants to fight
Christians on Sulawesi island from 1998 to 2001 and served
around half of a seven-year prison sentence handed down in
2004 for the bombing of a shopping mall in Jakarta three years
Tholut, from Central Java, also allegedly helped establish
training camps for Islamic militants in the Southern
Philippines, including the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group.
Hundreds of suspected militants have been arrested or
killed in connection with the Aceh network, including its
alleged operations leader Dulmatin, a notorious bomb maker
wanted for the 2002 Bali attacks which killed 202 people.