Convicted Indonesian terrorist denounces ISIL

Convicted Indonesian terrorist denounces ISIL
An Indonesian policeman holds Islamist militant commander Mustofa (C), alias Abu Tholut, as Tholut arrives for his verdict at a west Jakarta court October 13, 2011.

Convicted terrorist Abu Tholut, alias Mustofa, alias Imron, who is currently serving eight years in prison for terrorist activities, denounced the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Wednesday.

Speaking from his prison in Kedungpane, Semarang, Central Java, Abu Tholut said that he discovered the international terrorist organisation six months ago and saw it evolve from a separatist group into a full blown caliphate with worldwide influence. Tholut claimed that he had been asked what his stance was toward ISIL by his peers.

"For me, ISIL is a misguided organisation. They have lied to their people and their followers and don't deserve to be mujahedeen. They have also spilt the blood of the innocent and do not respect their religious elders," Tholut told The Jakarta Post.

He added that after hearing about the organisation, he managed to research ISIL's history and background, as well as the political developments of Iraq and in Syria, by also obtaining fatwa material from independent clerics in the Middle East. Through this research he concluded that ISIL's ideology is misleading.

Abu Tholut himself is currently jailed on terrorism grounds. He was proven to have prepared militant training camps in Poso, Central Sulawesi and in Banten. He also planned militant training activities in Aceh.

The West Jakarta District Court sentenced him to eight years in prison in 2011 for his militant activities.

Abu Tholut had previously been jailed for eight and a half years after being convicted for the Atrium Senen bombings in Jakarta in 2001. After his release, he continued to participate in terrorism-related activities and was recaptured in October 2010 in Kudus, Central Java.

He also refuted previous media reports that said he had voiced support for ISIL.

The convicted terrorist expressed his concern over ISIL's creeping influence on the impressionable young generation, denouncing the group as a very misleading influence.

"ISIL has done nothing for the Muslims, say, being attacked in Palestine. As a caliphate, they must have real power to protect their brethren," he said.

August has seen the arrest of several ISIL sympathizers and supporters in Sumatra and Java.

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