May 23, 2019 – In Breaking News – CNN
John Walker Lindh, the so-called “American Taliban” whose capture in Afghanistan riveted a country in the early days after the September 11 attacks, has been released from prison, authorities said.
(‘He shouldn’t be on parole at all,’ said Rep. Michael Waltz, a Florida Republican and former Green Beret who served in the War in Afghanistan, in an interview on Wednesday. ‘He should be in prison for life, he’s a traitor,’ Waltz said. Waltz is not alone in expressing outrage at the release of 38-year-old Lindh, who became known as ‘Detainee 001’ in the war on terror after 9/11. Lindh will walk free from federal prison on Thursday after serving 17 years. Courtesy of Daily Mail and YouTube. Posted on May 23, 2019.)
After serving 17 years of a 20-year sentence, Lindh, the first US-born detainee in the war on terror, on Thursday walked out of a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, the Bureau of Prisons confirmed, and will join the small, but growing, group of Americans convicted of terror-related charges attempting to re-enter into society.
Lindh will live in Virginia subject to the direction of his probation officer, his lawyer, Bill Cummings, tells CNN.
But some are already calling for an investigation into his time in prison — where he is said in two US government reports to have made pro-ISIS and other extremist statements — that could send him back into detention.
(John Walker Lindh, known as the “American Taliban,” has been released from prison three years early after serving 17 hears. CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reports on the case, and Bennett Clifford, a research fellow at the George Washington University Program on Extremism, joined CBSN AM with more on what comes next for Lindh. Courtesy of CBS News and YouTube. Posted on May 23, 2019.)
Reports of Lindh’s maintained radicalization, detailed in two 2017 official counterterrorism assessments, are also driving questions about the efforts of the US government to rehabilitate former sympathizers like him, who are expected to complete prison sentences in waves in the coming years.
Raised in the suburbs north of San Francisco, Lindh took an interest in Islam at a young age, converting to the religion at 16 and moving to the Middle East to learn Arabic after finishing high school.
In 2000, according to documentation of his interrogations, Lindh went to Pakistan and trained with a radical Islamic group there before moving to Afghanistan and joining the Taliban.
(John Walker Lindh, called the “American Taliban” after he was arrested while fighting with the group two months after September 11, was sentenced to 20 years but qualified for time off for good behavior. Courtesy of NBC News and YouTube. Posted on May 23, 2019.)
Because he was not native to Afghanistan and did not speak the local languages, Lindh told investigators that he joined the “Arab group,” or al Qaeda, studying maps and explosives, fighting on a front line, and at one point, meeting with Osama bin Laden.
When US troops first encountered Lindh in November 2001, just weeks after the September 11 attacks, he was bedraggled and injured.
A CNN camera filmed as Lindh, a daze cast over his dirty face, told American forces how he had wound up at a detention camp in northern Afghanistan and survived a Taliban uprising there that killed hundreds of prisoners and a CIA officer, Johnny Michael Spann.
(The father of Mike Spann, the CIA agent killed in a Taliban prison uprising in 2001, says he feels “let down” by those in power after the man convicted of supporting terrorists was given an early release from prison for good behavior. Courtesy of WVTM 13 News and YouTube. Posted on May 24, 2019.)
Continue reading… ‘American Taliban’ released from prison, a key case for questions about radicals re-entering society
(An American who joined the Taliban in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks has been released from federal prison early. Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly calls the move ‘disgraceful’ on ‘Fox & Friends.’ Courtesy of Fox News and YouTube. Posted on May 23, 2019.)
I wrote this letter to @POTUS asking that the early release of John Walker Lindh be stopped. He’s going to be released on May 23, despite reports that he has continued to “advocate for global jihad.” This is not a reformed prisoner… pic.twitter.com/HVOryefVIE
— Alison Spann (@newsgirlalison) May 21, 2019
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