An Australian prosecutor said Thursday a terrorism defendant admitted to police he was recruited by al-Qaida to monitor military bases in the country.
Joseph Terrence Thomas has pleaded not guilty to charges that he received funds from al-Qaida, supported the terrorist group's activities and held a fake passport.
But prosecutor Nicholas Robinson told the Victoria state Supreme Court that Thomas admitted to Australian police he trained at an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan in 2001, and had been told to watch military activities in Australia.
The prosecutor said Thomas also told police he saw al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in close quarters on several occasions. He said Thomas told police he accepted $3,500 and a plane ticket from an al-Qaida agent in Pakistan.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.