Former Indonesian policeman says he helped al-Qaida fund, train new terror network

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A former Indonesian police officer said Thursday he helped al-Qaida train 170 members of a new terror network in Aceh province soon after he left the police force.

Mohammed Sofyan Tsauri — who is accused of involvement in several plots targeting foreigners and Western embassies in the predominantly Muslim country — went on trial Thursday.

He faces a maximum penalty of death if found guilty of violating anti-terror laws.

Tsauri told reporters before entering the District Court in Depok, just south of the capital, that he became "affiliated with al-Qaida" soon after he quit his job as a police officer in 2008.

Tsauri said he provided training and some guns the following year to 170 members of the new terror network in Aceh, which was allegedly also plotting attacks on Indonesia's president and security forces.