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'Jihad' Jack Thomas calls for peace deal with Taliban in Afghanistan

By Samyuktha

Melbourne, Aug 26(ANI): Jack Thomas, an Australian citizen who once trained with Taliban militia in Afghanistan, has said that the coalition forces in that country should strike a peace deal with the Taliban.

Thomas emphasised that if one side calls for peace, the Koran tells Muslims they must lay down their arms.

"The horrible attacks on civilians and our diggers must stop," The Herald Sun quoted Thomas, as saying.

"Obviously, (coalition forces) are in contact with the Taliban and other groups, and putting it to them - 'This is in your book, you have to stop the killing'," he added.

The 37-year-old further said that he took up arms in Afghanistan believing that the country was 95 percent at peace, and helping to end the civil war would bring total peace.

"This war is a huge cost and huge burden, but there are clear rules that if you call for peace (Muslims) must accept it," he added.

Thomas was the first Australian to be convicted under anti-terrorism laws introduced in Australia after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

He was sentenced in March 2006 to five years prison with a non-parole period of two years.

This was in relation to his travels to Pakistan and Afghanistan, after he married and converted to Islam.

Thomas left Australia for Pakistan on March 23, 2001, and returned home on June 6, 2003.

After his arrest, he was referred as "Jihad Jack" in the media because after converting to Islam, he took on the name Jihad, Arabic for struggle.

His conviction was overturned in 2008, when he was found not guilty of receiving funds from the Al-Qaida. (ANI)

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