John Walker Lindh to be re­leased from pri­son

The News-Times - - NATION/WORLD -

John Walker Lindh, the young Cal­i­for­nian who be­came known as the Amer­i­can Tal­iban af­ter he was cap­tured by U.S. forces in the in­va­sion of Afghanista­n in late 2001, is set to go free af­ter nearly two decades in pri­son.

But con­di­tions im­posed re­cently on Lindh’s re­lease, slated for Thurs­day, make clear that au­thor­i­ties re­main con­cerned about the threat he could pose once free.

Lindh, now 38, con­verted to Is­lam as a teenager af­ter see­ing the film “Mal­colm X” and went over­seas to study Ara­bic and the Qu­ran. In Novem­ber 2000, he went to Pak­istan and from there made his way to Afghanista­n. He joined the Tal­iban and was with them on Sept. 11, 2001, when al-Qaida ter­ror­ists at­tacked the World Trade Cen­ter and the Pen­tagon.

The U.S. at­tacked Afghanista­n af­ter the coun­try failed to turn over al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Lindh was cap­tured in a bat­tle with North­ern Al­liance fight­ers in late 2001. He was present when a group of Tal­iban pris­on­ers launched an at­tack that killed Johnny Micheal “Mike” Spann, a CIA of­fi­cer who had been in­ter­ro­gat­ing Lindh and other Tal­iban pris­on­ers.

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