‘American Taliban’ John Lindh freed after 17 years in prison

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John Walker Lindh, the man who was captured with Taliban fighters in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks and is often called the "American Taliban", is set to walk free from a federal prison Thursday morning after serving 17 years of a 20-year sentence. He added, "I don't like it at all".

But Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, a researcher at the George Washington University Centre for Extremism, says that while in prison Lindh became close Ahmad Musa Jibril, an Arab-American who since his 2012 release continues to preach an extremely conservative version of Islam popular among jihadists.

Johnny Spann, Mike Spann's father, is also taking action since CNN has reported that he is asking the courts to investigate comments Lindh has made in prison which suggest he still believes in promoting Islamic radicalism.

In an ABC News interview on Sunday, the still-grieving father delivered a direct appeal to President Donald Trump to somehow find a way to halt Lindh's release after having served 17 of 20 years with time off for good behavior.

Lindh's parents Marilyn Walker and Frank Lindh did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Thursday that John Walker Lindh, the first US-born detainee in the War on Terror, is still a threat to the United States, and is "still committed to the very jihad that he engaged in that killed a great American and a great Central Intelligence Agency officer".

But in July 2002, he pleaded guilty to much-reduced charges of illegally aiding the Taliban and of carrying weapons and explosives in the commission of that crime.

Lindh's release underscores the fact that, nearly two decades later, the USA war against the Taliban continues.

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Lindh was captured on the battlefield after the USA invasion of Afghanistan following 9-11 and was initially charged with conspiring to kill Mike Spann, a Central Intelligence Agency operative who died during an uprising of Taliban prisoners shortly after interrogating Lindh.

Before he was known as the American Taliban, Lindh lived in San Anselmo, went to Tamiscal High School in Larkspur, but dropped out and got his GED.

In March, the legislature in Alabama, where Spann grew up, adopted a resolution calling Lindh's release "an insult" to Spann's "heroic legacy and his remaining family members".

US -born Lindh converted from Catholicism to Islam as a teenager.

He said he volunteered as a soldier with the Taliban, the radical Sunni Muslim group that ruled most of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, to help fellow Muslims in their struggle or "jihad".

He will serve his supervised release under restrictions including monitoring of his internet devices and that he can not leave the country.

Sens. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., released a joint statement Tuesday expressing concern over his release and demanding more information on steps that will be taken to ensure Lindh is not a threat to public safety.

"As of May 2016, John Walker Lindh (USPER) - who is scheduled to be released in May 2019 after being convicted of supporting the Taliban - continued to advocate for global jihad and to write and translate violent extremist texts".

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